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Reprinted from " lire's Diclionary of Arts and Manufatlures^ ivith Illustrations 
and Additions. 

Br the late Rev. GEORGE CROLY, LL.D. 

Pontoon : 





Third Edition. 

A A 



Preface ........ ix 

Introduction ........ xi 


Introduction — Language — ■ Origin of the Art of 
Writing — Various modes of recording Events 
which preceded it — Materials upon which Men 
first wrote : Stones, Bricks, Metals, Skins and 
Intestines of Animals, Tablets, Leaves, Bark, etc., 
etc. — The Egyptian Papyrus, from which Paper 
(so called) was first made — Process of Manufac- 
ture — Usual Dimensions and extreme Durability 
of Papyri — Modern Paper — Its general Advan- 
tages to Mankind — Supposed Period of its In- 
vention — The Introduction of Paper Making into 
Europe — Historical Incidents connected therewith 
— fames Whatman — The superiority of his 
Manufacture — Adoption of the Fourdrinier 
Machine — General Advantages of Machinery 
over the original Process, etc., etc. . . I 

b 2 





On the Materials employed in the Formation of Paper 
— Method of Preparation — Processes of Commi- 
nution — Washing, Bleaching, etc., described — 
Paper Making by Hand — P aper-making Machine 
— Sizing Apparatus — Cutting Machine, etc., 
explained — General Observations on what are 
termed JVatcr Marks — Manner of effecting the 
sa?ne — Importance frequently atiached to them — 
Ireland's Fabrication of the Shakspeare MSS. — 
Difficulty of procuring suitable Paper for the 
purpose — On the perfection to which Water Marks 
have now attained, especially with reference to the 
production of Light and Shade, as seen in the 
New Bank Note, etc. etc. . . . .61 


HIS volume is founded upon Lectures 
delivered at the London Institution, 
and the Syllabus furnished on those occasions 
is here retained as a heading to the Chapters, 
I feel it to be a pleasing duty to avail myself of the 
present opportunity to acknowledge the kindness 
and assistance which was rendered me in the 
illustration of those Lectures by many friends, 
particularly those in connexion with the Royal 
Asiatic Society, the Hon. Last India Company, 


the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, the 
London Missionary Museum, and the Bank oj 

R. H. 

Watling Street, London. 



AVING been present at the delivery 
of these Lectures, and feeling an 
interest in them, as the performance 
of my friend Mr. Herring, I have added, at 
his request, a few preliminary observations, 
on the chief employment of paper in our day, 
namely, in Printing. 

It is a striking, and perhaps a significant 
coincidence, that the art of making paper 
from linen fibre, and the art of printing, were 
discovered nearly at the same time, and were 
coeval with the first preaching of the Refor- 



mation by Huss and Jerome of Prague, of 
whom Luther was only the more eminent 
successor — the whole three events dating from 
the fifteenth century. 

It is certain, that printing was the great 
instrument of the Reformation in Germany, 
and of spreading it through Europe ; and it is 
equally certain, that the making of paper, by 
means of the cotton or flaxen fibre, supplied 
the only material which has been found 
extensively available for printing. Whether 
this coincidence was simply accidental, or was 
the effed: of that high arrangement for high 
purposes, which we so often find in the 
history of Providence, may be left to the 
consideration of the Christian. 

But, it is evident, that if printing had been 
invented in any of the earlier ages, it would 
have been comparatively thrown away. The 
Chinese bark of the bamboo, or the rice 
straw ; the Egyptian papyrus, and the Greek 
or Roman parchment, would have been too 
feeble, or too expensive, for the rapid demands 
of the Press. But at the exact period, when 
Printing was given to the world, the fabric 



was also given, which was to meet the 
broadest exigency of that most illustrious 

That the Chinese, in ages almost beyond 
history, had made paper of cotton, and even 
of hemp ; and that the Arabians either 
borrowed, or invented, the manufacture, in 
the eighth century, is known. But, the 
discovery perished for want of the Press ; as 
the Press would have perished for want of 
the vigour, yet to be created in every faculty 
of human advance, by the Reformation. 

It should not be forgotten, that the first 
printed works were religious ; as the " Biblia 
Pauperum," a small folio, of forty leaves, each 
with a picture, and a text of Scripture under 
it ; and the " Speculum humanae Salvationis," 
a similar work of pictures and texts, in Latin ; 
and that the last and noblest achievement of 
Printing, has been the renewed publication of 
the Gospel, in nearly every language of the 
globe ! 

The actual origin of Printing has been 
matter of learned controversy. From the 
earliest ages impressions had been taken from 



seals. There are in the British Museum 
blocks of lead, impressed with the name or 
stamp of the Roman authorities. The 
Chinese, who seem to have had a glimpse of 
every invention of Europe, produced blocks 
of wood-engraving, with which they mul- 
tiplied copies, by impression at least, so early 
as the tenth century, and even appear to have 
applied it to a species of bank note. Whether 
the invention was introduced into Europe by 
Marco Polo (who visited China in the 
thirteenth century), or by others, it is known 
that printed playing cards and devotional 
tracts (though of the simplest structure, gene- 
rally a single page) were not infrequent, from 
the year a.d. 1400. Still, the operation was 
so expensive, and also so insufficient, that 
the Art of Printing cannot be said to have 
been yet discovered. For this discovery, the 
essential was the use of moveable types. 

The honour of this most simple, yet most 
comprehensive change, has been warmly 
disputed by Holland and Germany. But, 
though Coster, a Hollander, adopted it early, 
general opinion gives it to Gutenburg, a 



printer at Strasburg, between 1436 and 1442. 
Gutenburg was originally a block-printer ; at 
length the fortunate idea occurred to him, of 
getting rid of the solid page, and making his 
types separate ; those, in the first instance, 
were cut out of wood. Returning to Mayence, 
his native city, a partnership with Faust sup- 
plied him with capital. Faust made a second 
step in the mechanical portion of the art, by 
casting the types in metal A subsequent 
partnership with SchcefFer, Faust's son-in- 
law, supplied all that was wanting to the art, 
in his invention of the punch for making the 
types. The partners subsequently quarrelled, 
and Gutenburg, in 1458, formed a new 
establishment in Mayence. The storming of 
the city by Adolphus of Nassau, in 1462, dis- 
persed the workmen, and thus spread the art 
through Europe. It was thenceforth practised 
in Italy, in France, in Spain, and in England 
(at Westminster, in 1475). The Cologne 
Chronicle, printed in 1 474, states that the first 
large volume produced by printing, was the 
Bible (an edition of the Vulgate), a work which 
cost a preparation of ten years. This edition 



is without date, or printer's name, but is 
supposed to have been completed in 1455. 

In an age when the European mind was 
only emerging from a thousand years of dark- 
ness, everything was tinged with superstition. 
The printing of the Bible shared the general 
charge ; and the comparative cheapness, and 
still more, the singular fidelity of the copies 
to each other, were attributed to sorcery. 
Faust, who probably had no objection to a 
report, by which so much was to be gained, 
and which was favoured by the absence of 
date and name, has since been made the hero 
of German mysticism ; and is immortalized, 
as the philosopher, and master of magic, in 
the celebrated poem of Goethe. 

The Newspaper, the most influential of all 
human works, is the creation of Printing. It 
is to the honour of England, that in this 
country it approaches nearest to excellence, 
in intellectual vigour, in variety of knowledge, 
in extent of information, and in patriotic 
principle. It has, like all the works of man, 
occasional imperfections, and perhaps among 
the most prominent are its too minute details 



of offences against public purity. But, there 
is scarcely a newspaper in this age, which 
would not have been regarded as a triumph 
of ability in the last. In fact, the newspaper 
of England is the great practical teacher of 
the people. Its constant and universal teaching 
alone accounts for the superior intelligence of 
the population. Schools, lecture-rooms, and 
universities, important as they all are, alto- 
gether fall behind it in public effect, or find, 
that to retain their influence, they must follow 
its steps. Those steps may now and then 
turn from the right road, but their native 
tendency is forwards and upwards ! This 
intellectual giant always advances, and carries 
the country with him, to a height which no 
other country, ancient or modern, ever attained, 
or, perhaps, ever hoped to attain. 

I speak of this form of publication, in no 
literary favouritism; but, as a great instrument, 
offered to nations for the safety, the speed, 
and the security of national progress ; an in- 
tellectual railroad, given to our era, to meet the 
increased exigencies of intellectual intercourse; 
and equal to any weight, and any rapidity. 



The most hopeless feature of foreign govern- 
ments appears to me, their hostility to the 
Press. Thus, they prohibit the mental air 
and exercise, which would rectify the "peccant 
humours" of their people; thus they aggravate 
popular stagnation into political disease ; thus, 
casual passion is darkened into conspiracy, and 
passing disgust is compressed into rebellion. 

England has her ill-humours, but the Press 
ventilates them away ; the vapours are not 
suffered to lie on the ground, until they con- 
dense into malaria. There may be folly, and 
even faction, among us, and the Press may be 
the trumpet of both ; but the width of the 
area is the remedy. A whole nation is always 
right. No sound can stir it, but the sound 
which is in accord with its own feelings ; 
the trumpet which is overwhelming within 
four walls, is unheard at the horizon ! 

If, in an age of foreign convulsion, England 
has undergone no catastrophe ; if, in the fall 
of monarchies, she has preserved her here- 
ditary throne ; if, in the mingled infidelity 
and superstition of the Continent, which, like 
the mingled frenzy and fetters of a lunatic 



hospital, have, in our day, exhibited the 
lowest humiliation of human nature, she has 
preserved her freedom and her religion, I 
attribute all, under God, to the vigour and 
intelligence of public investigation ; the in- 
cessant urgency of appeal to the public mind ; 
the living organization, of which the heart is 
the Press of England ! 

Paper & Paper Making, 


Chapter I. 

Introduction — Language — Origin of the Art of Writing 
— Various Modes of recording Events which preceded it — 
Materials upon which Men first wrote : Stones, Bricks, 
Metals, Skins and Intestines of Animals, Tablets, Leaves, 
Bark, etc., etc. — The Egyptian Papyrus, from which Paper 
( so called ) was first made — Process of Manufacture — 
Usual Dimensions and extreme Durability of Papyri — 
Modern Paper — Its general Advantages to Mankind — Sup- 
posed Period of its Invention — The Introduction of Paper 
Making into Europe — Historical Incidents connected there- 
with — fames Whatman — The superiority of his Manufacture 
— Adoption of the Fourdrinier Machine — General Advantages 
of Machinery over the original Process, etc , etc. 

MONGST the numerous and diversi- 
fied objects of human investigation 
and research, it would, perhaps, be 
difficult to single out one, more curious and 



interesting, than that of the medium which 
bears the symbols of language ; which retains 
the register of circumstances and events of past 
ages, and which hands down to us the trans- 
actions of primeval time, with its intervening 

Undoubtedly the noblest acquisition of man- 
kind, perhaps the greatest advantage which 
we possess, is that of the faculty of speech. 
Without speech, man, in the midst of crowds, 
would be solitary. The endearments of 
friendship, and the communications of wisdom, 
alike would become unavailing ; man, in fact, 
without speech, could hardly be accounted a 
rational being. 

That the use of speech or language was 
given to Adam immediately upon his forma- 
tion, we have no reason to doubt; for from 
the testimony of Moses it appears, that he not 
only gave names to every living creature, " to 
every beast of the field, and to every fowl of 
the air," as they were brought to him, but 
that also as soon as Eve was made he could 
say — " This is now bone of my bone, and 
flesh of mv flesh," the first sentence which is 


recorded of his uttering, and which is suffi- 
cient to show, that even then he possessed a 
competent stock of words to declare the ideas 
or conceptions of his mind. 

Thus was man at once rendered as superior 
to the brute creation, as in after times by the 
aid of writing, or the art of drawing those 
ideas into vision, he was especially distinguished 
from the condition of uncivilized savages. 
For of all the arts that contribute to the com- 
fort and happiness of mankind, no one, per- 
haps, is more intimately connected with our 
social habits, or more closely entwined with 
the best and purest feelings of our nature, 
than that of writing. And yet to conceive 
or to account for the origin of an art so 
invaluable in its tendency to elevate and 
improve mankind, as that of exhibiting to 
sight the various conceptions of the mind, 
which have no corporeal forms, by means 
of hieroglyphics or legible characters, is still 
as difficult and perplexing as in past ages 
it has ever proved to the sagacity of man- 
kind. With the poet of old we have yet to 
inquire — 

B 2 


" Whence did the wondrous mystic art arise, 
Of painting speech, and speaking to the eyes ? 
That we by tracing magic lines are taught 
How to embody, and to colour thought." 

Notwithstanding the great and manifold 
blessings which men have received from this 
curious and wonderful invention, it is very 
remarkable, as a distinguished writer observes, 
that writing, which gives a sort of immortality 
to all other things, should, by the disposal of 
Divine Providence, be without any trace of 
the memory of its first founders. Indeed, the 
invention of letters and their various combina- 
tions in forming words, amounting, it is com- 
puted, to 620,448,401,733,239,439,360,000, 
without repeating any combination capable of 
being made from so small a number of letters 
as that now comprising our alphabet, has 
something so extremely ingenious and sur- 
prising in its application, that most men who 
have treated the subjecl:, can hardly forbear 
attributing it to a divine original. 

Many have conceived that the theatre of this 
important legacy to man was Mount Sinai. 
But it is observable, that previously to the 


arrival of the Israelites at Mount Sinai, Scripture 
makes mention of writing as an art already 
understood by Moses : " And the Lord said 
unto Moses, write this for a memorial." 
(Exodus, 17th ch. 14th v.) Now, Moses 
seems to have expressed no difficulty of com- 
prehension when he received this command, 
nor does anything appear to induce the 
slightest doubt ; on the contrary, I think we 
may safely conclude that Moses was even then 
well acquainted with the art of writing, or 
otherwise he would have been instructed by 
God, as in the case of Noah, when he was 
required to build the Ark. And further, we 
find that Moses wrote all the words, and all 
the judgments of the Lord, contained in the 
twenty-first and two following chapters of 
the Book of Exodus, before the two written 
tables of stone were even so much as pro- 
mised. The delivery of the tables is not 
mentioned till the 18 th verse of the 31st 
chapter, after God had made an end of com- 
muning with him upon the mount. Never- 
theless, I am not prepared to dispute the 
probability of a divine origin to so wonderful 


a medium, any more than I am disposed to 
question the possibility of its resulting merely 
from what Aristotle terms the Faculty of 
Imitation ; for which, says he, men are so 
remarkable, even in an uncivilized state. I 
pass by all questions of the kind, satisfied for 
the present with the simple fad:, that such 
medium does exist ; that through it we 
become, as it were, introduced to the multi- 
tudinous throng of a world's tenantry, while 
we thus learn their words, works, and ways, 
their History, Literature, and Arts, their 
Science, and Theology ; and while even the 
mummy, recovered from the subterranean 
recesses of the Egyptian pyramids, may still 
be said to talk with us, by virtue of the roll 
of papyrus and its pictured inscription which 
he holds in his hand ; 

" Writing's art, which like a sovereign queen, 
Amongst her subject sciences is seen ; 
As she in dignity the rest transcends, 
So far her power of good and harm extends." 

In the earliest ages of mankind, very simple 
means were necessarily adopted, to preserve 
the remembrance of any important event. 


During many centuries, tradition, perhaps 
solely, served to represent that, which in re- 
cent times has been more completely effected 
by the introduction of printing. At other 
periods we find trees were planted, heaps of 
stones, altars or pillars, as we read in sacred 
history, were erected ; and even games and 
festivals ordered, to keep up the recollection 
of important facts. Since, however, the art 
of writing was invented (be the period when 
it may), various materials have from time to 
time been made use of, for the purpose of 
transmitting to posterity the discoveries and 
deeds of their ancestors. Thus, for instance, 
the most ancient remains of writing which 
have been handed down to us, are upon hard 
substances, such as bricks, stones, and metals, 
which were used by the ancients for all mat- 
ters of public notoriety ; abundant proofs of 
which we have in the recent discoveries of 
Mr. Layard. And Josephus, in the third chap- 
ter of the first book of "Jewish Antiquities," 
tells us : that, " the descendants of Seth, lead- 
ing a happy and quiet life, found out by study 
and observation the motions and distribution, 


or order, of the heavenly bodies; and, that 
their discoveries might not be lost to men 
(knowing that the destruction of the world 
had been foretold by Adam, which should be 
once by fire, and once by water), they made 
two pillars — one of brick, and the other of 
stone, and wrote or engraved their discoveries 
thereon ; so that if the rains should destroy 
that of brick, the other of stone might con- 
tinue to show mankind their observations," 

In the sacred text we are further informed, 
that great stones were directed to be set up 
by the children of Israel, after the passage of 
the Jordan, and being "plastered with plaster," 
— which appears to have been a very common 
practice — "thereon were to be written all the 
words of the law very plainly." In the book 
of Job, which some suppose to have been 
written by Moses, we have an obscure inti- 
mation of the method employed in registering 
upon the rock, "graven with an iron pen and 
lead in the rock for ever." But, although 
there is apparently a want of clearness in our 
translation of the passage, by no means does 
it arfect the idea of Job's desire to give the 


greatest possible permanence to the words he 
then uttered. He exclaims, " Oh that my 
words were now written," or, (though pro- 
bably not an exact translation,) " Oh that 
they were printed in a book ;" and more (he 
adds), "that they were even graven with an 
iron pen and lead in the rock for ever;" which 
latter clause some take to be in reference to 
the leaden tablets which are found to have 
been in very early use. But I rather favour 
the interpretation, for which I am indebted to 
my late esteemed friend the Rev. Dr. Croly; 
that as a still more indelible and effectual 
mode of perpetuating his thoughts, it was 
Job's conception that his words should be 
graven in the rock with an iron pen, or tool, 
and the interstices afterwards filled with lead, 
in order that the contrast occasioned thereby 
might render them the more readily intelli- 
gible to those who happened to travel that 

Herodotus also mentions a letter engraven 
on plates of stone, which Themistocles, the 
Athenian general, sent to the Ionians, about 
five hundred years before the birth of Christ. 


Lead, however, and similar metals being less 
difficult to write upon, and more simple and 
convenient, afterwards superseded to a great 
extent the use of such unwieldy substances as 
bricks and stone. And subsequently we find 
others of a still more pliable texture employed, 
such as the skins of animals, bark, wood, and 
the leaves of trees. Solomon, for instance, in 
the Book of Proverbs, in allusion to the prac- 
tice of writing upon thin slices of wood, 
advises his son to write his precepts upon 
the tables of his heart. And the prophet 
Habakkuk was commanded to write a vision 
and make it plain upon tables, that he may 
run that readeth it. Solomon lived a thousand 
years, and Habakkuk about six hundred and 
twenty-six, before the Christian era. At a 
later period, Zacharias, the father of John the 
Baptist, when inquired of as to what he would 
have his child called, asked, we are told, for 
"a writing table, and wrote, saying, his name 
is John." Amongst the Romans, it was cus- 
tomary for the public affairs of every year to 
be committed to writing by the high priest, 
and published on a table ; such tables being 


exposed to view, either in their market-places 
or temples, in order that the people might 
have an opportunity of becoming acquainted 
with their contents. 

At an early period in their history, both 
Greeks and Romans appear to have commonly 
used either those plain wooden boards, or 
boards covered with wax. It is probable, that 
at first the tables were written upon just as 
they were planed, and that the overlaying 
them with wax was an improvement on that 
invention; a very decided advantage being thus 
obtained, in the facility afforded for erasing 
any inaccuracies that might have occurred, 
and consequently of correcting the manuscript. 
The practice of writing upon tablets of one 
kind or another, appears not to have been 
entirely laid aside, until the commencement 
of the fourteenth century ; and, indeed, even 
in our day, tablet books of ivory are occasion- 
ally used, for writing upon with black lead 

The use of boards was in some measure 
superseded by that of the leaves of palm, olive, 
poplar, and other trees. And although, in 


Europe, all these disappeared upon the intro- 
duction of the papyrus and parchments, in 
some countries the use of them remains even 
to this day. Perhaps a record of this old cus- 
tom may still be found in the word leaf, which 
we continue to apply to sheets of paper, when 
sewed up into the form of a book. According 
to the account of Pliny, the Egyptians were 
the first to use the palm leaf, and books 
written on it are still preserved in the East 
India Museum, as also in the Library of the 
British Museum. 

The mode of preparation, after cutting into 
strips of the length and width required, is 
simply to soak them for a short time in boiling 
water, after which they are rubbed backwards 
and forwards over a smooth piece of wood to 
make them pliable, and then carefully dried. 
The letters or characters being written or 
rather engraved thereon with an iron style, 
which, piercing the outside covering, makes 
indelible letters ; and by afterwards rubbing 
the writing over with some dark coloured 
substance, such as soot or charcoal, the parts 
etched or scratched have greater relief im- 


parted to them ; and the writing is more 
easily read. 

Notwithstanding many paper mills have 
been erected in India, the natives, I under- 
stand, frequently prefer this method, not only 
for the ordinary purposes of correspondence 
and accounts, but even in some quarters for 
Government documents of importance. 

I must here express my sense of the kind 
assistance which has on several occasions been 
afforded me by the Rev. Benjamin Bailey, late 
of Cottyam, Allepie, Madras, who has not only 
given to the world a translation in Malayalim 
of the entire Bible, but has also compiled two 
voluminous dictionaries, for rendering assist- 
ance in the study of that language. This 
gentleman has recently afforded me an oppor- 
tunity of inspecting many great curiosities of 
the kind ; indeed, before me is now lying a 
very neat little specimen written in Malayalim 
by him (St. Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy), 
which shows, in a remarkable degree, the 
astonishing distinctness which may be pro- 
duced by this singular mode of writing. 

The style with which the letters are 


engraven upon the leaf is usually worn in the 
girdle as a prominent ornament of dress. The 
case which protects it containing also a small 
knife, employed in preparing the slips, and 
likewise a little instrument which is used for 
piercing the leaves, in order that cords may 
be passed through them for the purpose of 
securing the manuscript, as may be seen in the 
instance of various documents both in the East 
India Company's Museum, and also in the 
Library of the British Museum. 

A work which I possess, termed the Kam- 
mavakyam, written in the Pali language, in 
Burmese character, upon palm leaf, is thus 
secured between very handsome covers. It is 
a Catechism of Sacred Rites, used by the 
Buddhist priesthood in the examination of a 
candidate for admission to that order. A 
translation of it here, however, would be no 
more consistent in point of matter contained, 
than it would be in reference to the subject: I 
am treating. Its character and language 
throughout are truly humiliating to human 

In the British Museum there are many very 


singular documents of the kind, one in par- 
ticular, which is written upon 390 leaves, 
bound, as it were, in a frame of gilt copper, 
in the form of a tortoise, screws being passed 
through the strips instead of cords, the fasten- 
ings, with some addition, representing the 
limbs of the animal. And in the East India 
Museum may be seen a smaller one, protected 
by stout wooden covers, which has been carved 
to represent some animal, apparently a pig. 
The custom of writing upon leaves of trees 
appears to have given rise to the adoption also 
of the interior bark, the outer being seldom 
made use of, in consequence of its extreme 
coarseness. When employed, it is customarily 
folded over, to admit of its being written upon 
both sides. The only documents of this kind, 
which have come under my notice, have been 
Batta manuscripts, from the island of Sumatra. 

Before the art of making paper was known 
to the Chinese, they appear to have cut pieces 
of silk to such sizes as they wished to make 
their books, and thereupon painted the letters 
with pencils, the silk being first steeped in 
a kind of size to prevent the colour from 


running. But such material being liable to 
decay, various animal substances were after- 
wards employed, as being of a more durable 
nature. Of course the skins were principally 
used, after being tanned ; but bones, and even 
entrails, were also made use of for the like 
purpose. Thus, in the "History of Mahomet," 
we read that the Arabians used the shoulder 
bones of sheep, on which they carved remark- 
able events with a knife, when, after tying 
them with a string, they hung those chro- 
nicles up in their cabinets. And in the library 
of Ptolemy Philadelphus, which is said to 
have contained 700,000 volumes, were the 
works of Homer, written in golden letters, on 
the skins of serpents. I might mention, that 
the term volume here should not be under- 
stood in the sense which it is now customary 
to receive it, but in its derivation from the 
Latin, signifying simply a roll, which was the 
most ancient form of book. 

Parchment, or the skins of beasts, dressed 
and prepared in a manner rendering them fit 
for writing upon, appears to have been em- 
ployed at a very early period. Diodorus 


Siculus informs us that the Persians of old 
wrote all their records on skins ; and Hero- 
dotus also alludes to sheep skins, and goat 
skins, as in general use among the lonians 
about 440 years before the Christian era. 
The word Parchment is a corruption of the 
Latin Pergamena, from Pergamus > which some 
allege to have been the place of its invention. 
But it is very probable that in the time of 
Eumenes, who was king of Pergamus, (about 
200 years before Christ,) the circumstance of 
increased consumption merely occasioned the 
discovery of a better method of dressing the 
skins ; from which facl: alone, and perhaps 
with sufficient reason, the origin of the present 
term was derived. Eumenes, about that 
period, appears to have endeavoured to form 
a library at Pergamus, which should surpass 
that of Ptolemy Philadelphus at Alexandria, 
and in so doing enraged Ptolemy to that 
degree that he immediately prohibited any 
further exportation from Egypt of the papyrus, 
which by that time was coming into very 
general use, and thus effectually put a stop to 
Eumenes' emulation in that particular. It 



may be, however, that this prohibition was 
not solely occasioned by jealousy, but by 
Ptolemy's fearing that his dominions, which 
were so much improved in arts, sciences, and 
civilization, since the discovery and adoption 
of the papyrus, (of which we shall presently 
speak,) would be again reduced to a state of 
ignorance for want of it ; the plant sometimes 
failing in unfavourable weather, while the 
supply invariably proved unequal to the de- 
mand. The people of Pergamus, therefore, 
were obliged to devise other means, and the 
improved manufacture of parchment would 
seem to have been the result. But, that 
Eumenes on this occasion invented the art of 
making parchment is exceedingly dubious ; 
for in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 
and other parts of Scripture, we find mention 
made of rolls of writing, in all probability rolls 
of parchment. 

The manner of reading such rolls may be 
gathered from a passage extracted from Hart- 
ley's " Travels in Greece," which serves also 
to elucidate the peculiar scriptural expression 
of their being "written within and without." 


You began (says he) to read by unfolding, 
and you continued to read and to unfold, till, 
at last, you arrived at the stick to which the 
roll was attached ; then you turned the parch- 
ment round, and continued to read on the 
other side of the roll, folding it gradually up 
until you completed the writing : thus were 
they " written within and without." 

Papyrus, from which the term paper was 
derived, is the name of a celebrated plant, once 
extensively used by the Egyptians for making 
various articles of utility, such as baskets, 
shoes, cordage, and the like. Some writers 
state that of this plant the little ark was made, 
in which the parents of Moses exposed him 
upon the banks of the Nile, and of this it 
was that the most ancient paper was manu- 
factured. Not as would now be customary, 
by first reducing it to a pulp, nor, indeed, in 
any way as resembling modern paper, except 
that in both, vegetable fibre is the basis. 
That a plant once so useful, and for ages in 
Egypt so commercially valuable, should have 
totally disappeared, being altogether unknown 
to modern botanists, appears scarcely credible ; 


yet so it is. For the ancient descriptions of 
the papyrus, as a flag or bulrush, with a trian- 
gular stem that could barely be spanned, and 
which grew to the height of ten feet, or even 
considerably more, in the immense marshes 
occupying a large part of the surface of Lower 
Egypt ; a leafless wood, as it were, or as one 
writer describes it, a forest without branches, 
the bare stem being surmounted only by a 
head of long, thin, straight fibres, is certainly 
quite irreconcilable with the nature of the 
plant which now bears that name, and of 
which one of the stoutest growth has been 
very kindly furnished me by Sir W. J. Hooker, 
from the Royal Gardens at Kew. 

In the prophecy of Isaiah a very remarkable 
prediction occurs with reference to this plant. 
" The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth 
of the brooks, and everything sown by the 
brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be 
no more." Doubtless, we may believe that 
this prophecy has literally received its fulfil- 

With reference to the mode in which the 
paper was manufactured from this plant, two 



distinct opinions have been handed down to 
us. One, that the epidermis being removed, 
the spongy part was cut into thin slices, which 
were steeped in the waters of the Nile, or in 
water slightly imbued with gum ; after which 
two layers were placed one above another, 
carefully arranged in contrary directions, that 
is, lengthwise and breadthwise, which, after 
being dried, were finally smoothed and brought 
to a fit surface for receiving writing, by being 
rubbed with a tooth or piece of polished ivory. 

Another method said to have been adopted 
in preparing this material, was simply that of 
separating the thin concentric coats, or pellicles 
of the plant which surrounded the stock, by 
means of a needle or pointed shell (on an 
average about twenty from each stalk), and 
afterwards extending them longitudinally side 
by side on a table, a similar layer being placed 
across them at right angles ; in which state 
they were moistened with water, and while 
wet put under pressure, being afterwards 
exposed to the rays of the sun, and finally 
polished, as in the former case, with some hard 
substance, such as a tooth or shell, not merely 


for the purpose of improving the surface, but 
to prevent its absorbing the ink. The sac- 
charine matter with which the whole juice of 
the plant is said to have been impregnated, 
being usually sufficient to cause the adhesion 
of the strips together. 

So great was the importance of this manu- 
facture at some periods, that Gibbon informs 
us of one Firmus, who raised the standard of 
revolt in Egypt against the Emperor Aurelian ; 
that he boasted he would maintain an army 
solely from the profits of his paper trade. 
At another time, in the reign of Tiberius, 
there happened such a scarcity of paper, from 
causes that are not mentioned, that the Senate, 
in order to prevent a riot, were obliged to 
appoint commissioners to distribute paper to 
the applicants according to their respective 

Papyri vary much more in length than in 
breadth, and upon this fad: I would dwell, as 
decidedly favouring the conception that the 
outer coat merely was employed in preparing 
the writing material. Indeed, in every speci- 
men which I have examined, I have found the 


slips of which it is composed rarely exceeding 
twelve or fifteen inches even lengthwise. 
Whereas, if they had been produced from the 
pithy part of the stem, after being cut into 
slices, there would have been no difficulty 
whatever in manufacturing the paper of the 
entire length, which, as I have already stated, 
sometimes exceeded ten feet. 

The breadth of papyri seldom exceeds 
eighteen inches, sometimes they are not more 
than four inches in width, which I imagine 
to have been determined by the length of the 
outer coats or pellicles taken from the plant ; 
the length, of course, being carried to any 
extent, simply by fastening one sheet to 
another. The largest specimen of which I 
have heard is one at Paris, measuring thirty 
feet in length. The most interesting which 
we possess in this country is one which may 
be seen in the Manuscript Department of the 
British Museum, which appears to have been 
written in Latin, in the year 572, upon a roll 
of papyrus, eight feet and a half long, and 
twelve inches wide. It is a deed relating to 
the sale of a house and land at Ravenna. 


Though papyri found on mummies are 
often in a good state of preservation, it is 
necessary to be very careful in handling them. 
The roll, owing to its being pressed under the 
swathings of the mummy, being completely 
flattened, and from the unvarying high tem- 
perature of the tomb to which it has for so 
long a time been subjected, is frequently so dry 
and brittle, that if any attempt be made to 
unroll it without previous precaution, small 
pieces will continually fall off. Still, the 
durability of this writing material is one of its 
best qualities. It can, in some instances, be 
rolled and unrolled after the lapse of many 
centuries without any detriment to it ; but the 
complete preservation of such specimens is 
generally to be attributed to their being kept 
from the air either in wooden or earthen 
vessels, frequently in the interior of the Idol 
to which the mummy was once wont to 
present his offering, which is usually of some 
grotesque or even hideous form, altogether 
unworthy of mention as representing any 
created thing, either upon the face of the 
earth, or in the waters beneath. Not long 


since I was shown one, containing a roll of 
papyrus, which had been roughly carved out 
of wood, somewhat resembling an overgrown 
cat in a sitting posture. And this so-called god, 
as appears to have been customarily the case, 
was taken from the tomb, where it stood over 
the mummy, with two very beautiful vases, 
which at one time contained fragrant oils, 
believed to be acceptable to the Idol, placed in 
front. The papyri thus curiously preserved, 
usually contain an account of the rank or 
station which the dead once filled, and occa- 
sionally some description of the particular rites 
and ceremonies observed with reference to the 

With respect to the period at which the 
ancients began to make a writing substance of 
the papyrus, or, indeed, of the name of the 
originator, nothing decisive is known. It 
would, however, appear from the prophecy 
in Isaiah, which has been already referred 
to, in which mention is made of paper reeds 
by the brooks, that paper made of such reeds 
was actually in use when that prophecy 
was written. And in accordance with this 


conception, the learned Dr. Gill, in his 
Commentary, says, " On the banks of the Nile 
grew a reed, or rush, called by the Greeks 
papyrus, or byblus, from whence come the 
words paper and bible, or book, of which 
paper was anciently made, even as early as the 
time of Isaiah," now nearly 3000 years ago. 

The kind of pen ordinarily used for writing 
upon this material was simply a reed, cut and 
split just as our quill pens at present are, but 
with a point not quite so sharp. 

I have in my possession some very fine 
specimens of what is usually called Bark Cloth, 
which, in its manufacture, approximates more 
nearly to that of modern paper than any other 
substance with which I am acquainted. It is 
formed from the bark of a small tree, or shrub, 
called the Paper Mulberry ( morus papyrifera J, 
which grows wild in the southern provinces 
of China, in Ava, in the Burmese country, and 
in India, as well as in all the Asiatic and Poly- 
nesian islands, from Japan to Otaheite. If a 
strip of this bark, which is remarkable for the 
fineness of its texture, after being soaked in 
water, be laid on a smooth stone, and then 

2 7 

carefully beaten with a bat or mallet, the 
surface of which is cut into fine ribs, the 
fibres will become separated more or less from 
one another ; and if the beating be carefully 
conducted, the bark will ultimately assume the 
appearance of a web of fine linen, two pieces 
of bark being made to incorporate with one 
another simply by laying them so as to overlap 
a little, and then beating again. In this simple 
way the material is formed; and by a short 
exposure to the sunshine when wet, becomes 
perfectly white. To render it fit for writing, 
it is afterwards polished in a manner similar to 
the papyrus, by rubbing it with a shell or 
other hard substance until it has very much 
the appearance of parchment ; and that it 
bears ink perfectly well, may be seen by an 
inspection of some Javanese works, which 
are contained in the library of the Hon. East 
India Company. 

The bat or mallet employed by the natives in 
preparing this material is usually about fifteen 
inches in length, and from two and a half to 
three inches square, one side being grooved 
very coarsely, another somewhat finer, a third 


exceedingly fine, and the fourth generally cut 
in chequers or small squares. The bark is 
first beaten with the coarsest side of the instru- 
ment, and then, in turn, with those parts 
which are finer, the resinous matter contained 
in it being usually found sufficiently adhesive. 

Without, however, dwelling longer upon 
this portion of our subject, let us now pro- 
ceed to trace out, in some measure, the 
history and progress of that more perfect 
and ingenious invention, modern paper; 
and in so doing, I can hardly forbear 
making some allusion to the incalculable 
advantages which have resulted to mankind 
from the introduction of so ingenious and 
extraordinary a discovery. It certainly would 
appear very remarkable, that not only amongst 
mankind generally, but even with those inti- 
mately associated with that branch of com- 
merce, so little interest should be found to 
exist in an acquaintance with its origin and 
advancement, beyond the bare knowledge 
which directly concerns them. It is true that 
with them, no less than with people in general, 
the very indispensableness of the material 


renders familiarity at once an unconscious 
stumbling-block, to any conception of the 
grandeur of its importance, or its vastly 
interesting and varied associations. Yet what 
infinite trouble and labour, what fruitless con- 
sumption of time, has not been saved by the 
invention of paper. How many toilsome and 
dangerous experiments have not philosophical 
projectors been spared. What laborious investi- 
gations and study have not thus been abridged, 
by the facts of others' researches being so 
conveyed to posterity — knowledge, more than 
any one man could have attained to in a 
thousand years, though born with faculties in 
maturity. To enumerate all the advantages 
w T hich the invention of paper has afforded 
mankind, it were, indeed, useless to attempt; 
for, whether we look at the traveller, traversing 
sea and land, without the knowledge of geogra- 
phy and navigation, without those beautiful 
charts of the ocean, by which he is now 
enabled to proceed with safety, and - even to 
predict with certainty his arrival at the most 
distant ports ; or, whether we look at the man 
of science, who being neither artist nor manu- 


fafturer, is thus enabled to communicate his 
plan and projects with accuracy and ease, for 
mechanics afterwards to improve and perfect ; 
or, indeed, whether we view the growing 
youth, educated with such facility in the 
principles of their duty, backward even to 
barbarous states, softened and enlightened by 
means of the discovery ; its value, in the 
applicability of its purposes, stands out alike 
in each, declaring it distinctly, above all other 
inventions, as truly the most wonderful, useful, 
and important, which has ever yet transpired 
in any age of the world ; inasmuch as without 
it, every other discovery must necessarily have 
continued comparatively useless to society. 
For, be it remembered, that in contrasting the 
results of this invention with the productions 
of former periods, we are, in fact, arraying in 
our train the mighty arm of the press against 
the feeble efforts of an unwieldy style, or the 
tedious and uncertain process of the slow- 
paced pen, which, prior to an acquaintance 
with the art of printing, were the only means 
mankind possessed for spreading the influence 
and advantages of learning amongst their 


fellow-creatures. And, again, how highly 
interesting is it, to observe the prodigious 
advancement resulting from an ingenious and 
successful application of machinery in the one 
case, serving at the same time to develop to 
our wonder and amazement the extraordinary 
capabilities of production which have since 
been revealed by the Printing Machine. 
Truly may we now pronounce — 

" The Press ! the venerated Press ! 
Freedom's impenetrable shield — 
The sword that wins her best success, 
The only sword that man should wield. " 

It is stated that the daily aggregate printed 
surface of the Times alone, actually exceeds 
that of thirty acres ; and the Illustrated London 
News, on one occasion, sent forth no less than 
500,000 double numbers, or one million sheets. 
In fad:, 2000 reams, exceeding seventy tons in 

The manufacture of four or five hundred 
square feet of paper per minute, and 1 2,000 
impressions per hour, are now matters of every- 
day occurrence, although it should be borne in 
mind, that without the paper machine, pouring 


forth its miles of web, these corresponding 
advantages in printing could not have been 

We may take, as an instance, that book of 
books, which Pollok very beautifully describes 
as — 

" The only star 
By which the bark of man could navigate 
The sea of life, and gain the coast of bliss 
Securely ! " 

Although now a handsome copy, printed on 
tolerably fine paper, gilt edged, and bound in 
embossed roan, may be purchased for one 
shilling, in the reign of Henry the Third, it 
is recorded that two arches of London Bridge 
were built for a less sum than that for which 
a Bible could be procured. And, as we con- 
tinue the search still further back, the contrast 
becomes increasingly interesting. For let it be 
remembered, that the sixty-six books of which 
the Bible is composed, were not always con- 
tained in so convenient a form. During the 
sixteen centuries which were occupied in 
making known this revelation to man, not 
only were the advantages which we possess 


altogether unknown, even in their rudest form, 
but substitutes, apparently far less promising 
than many we have referred to, were also at 
one period and another directed to be employed. 
As for instance, to Ezekiel, Jehovah once said, 
" Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and 
lay it before thee, and portray upon it the 
city, even Jerusalem." And elsewhere, "More- 
over, thou son of man, take thee one stick 9 
and write upon it, for Judah, and for the 
children of Israel, his companions." 

Of course there have been occasions when 
certain portions of the Scriptures were very 
beautifully inscribed (more particularly of the 
New Testament) sometimes in letters of gold, 
on parchment of the richest purple. Still they 
were manuscript, and, as such, not unfrequently 
occupied the labour of individuals for years. 
Instances are upon record, of fifty years in the 
life of one man being engaged in the execution 
of a single copy of the Scriptures. In the 
present day it is, perhaps, impossible for us 
properly to appreciate the skill, the labour, 
and the immense expenditure employed in 
such productions. For now, by the aid of the 



printing machine, we have an entire copy 
struck off in the space of one minute; and 
such were the almost miraculous efforts of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society last year, 
that they actually issued, in nearly 150 known 
languages, an average circulation of a copy for 
every minute throughout the year. 

It is much to be regretted that in tracing 
the origin of so curious an art as that of the 
manufacture of modern paper, any definite 
conclusion as to the precise time or period 
of its adoption should hitherto have proved 
altogether unattainable. The Royal Society 
of Sciences at Gottingen, in 1755 and 1763, 
offered considerable premiums for that especial 
object, but unfortunately all researches, how- 
ever directed, were utterly fruitless. The 
most ancient manuscript on cotton paper 
appears to have been written in 1050, while 
Eustathius, who wrote towards the end of the 
1 2th century, states that the Egyptian papyrus 
had gone into disuse but a little before his 
time. To reconcile, however, in some mea- 
sure contradictory accounts, it may be ob- 
served, that on some particular occasions, and 


by some particular persons, the Egyptian paper 
might have been employed for several hundred 
years after it ceased to be in general use ; and 
it is quite certain, that although the new in- 
vention must have proved of great advantage 
to mankind, it could only have been intro- 
duced by degrees. Amongst the records 
which are preserved at the Tower of London, 
will be found a letter addressed to Henry the 
Third, and written previously to 1222, which 
appears to be upon strong paper of mixed 
materials. Several letters of the following 
reign, which are there preserved, are evidently 
written on cotton paper. Were we able to 
determine the precise time when paper was 
first made from cotton, we should also be 
enabled to fix the invention of the art of paper 
making as it is now practised ; for the appli- 
cation of cotton to the purposes of paper 
making requires almost as much labour and 
ingenuity as the use of linen rags. Some have 
conceived, and probably with sufficient reason, 
that China originally gave birth to the in- 
vention. Certain it is, that the art of making- 
paper from vegetable matter reduced to pulp 

d 2 


was known and understood there long before 
it was practised in Europe, and the Chinese 
have carried it to a high degree of perfection. 
Several kinds of their paper evince the greatest 
art and ingenuity, and are applied with much 
advantage to many purposes. One especially, 
manufactured from the inner bark of the 
bamboo, is particularly celebrated for affording 
the clearest and most delicate impressions from 
copper plates, which are ordinarily termed 
India proofs. The Chinese, however, make 
paper of various kinds, some of the bark of 
trees, especially the mulberry tree, and the 
elm, but chiefly of the bamboo and cotton 
tree, and occasionally from other substances, 
such as hemp, wheat, or rice straw. To give 
an idea of the manner of fabricating paper 
from these different substances, it will suffice 
(the process being nearly the same in each) to 
confine our observations to the method adopted 
in the manufacture of paper from the bamboo — 
a kind of cane or hollow reed, divided by 
knots, but larger, more elastic, and more 
durable than any other reed. The whole 
substance of the bamboo is at times employed 


by the Chinese in this operation, but the 
younger stalks are preferred. The canes being 
first cut into pieces of four or five feet in 
length, are made into parcels, and thrown 
into a reservoir of mud and water for about a 
fortnight, to soften them ; they are then taken 
out, and carefully washed, every one of the 
pieces being again cut into filaments, which 
are exposed to the rays of the sun to dry, and 
to bleach. After this they are boiled in large 
kettles, and then reduced to pulp in mortars, 
by means of a hammer with a long handle ; 
or, as is more commonly the case, by submitting 
the mass to the action of stampers, raised in 
the usual way by cogs on a revolving axis. 
The pulp being thus far prepared, a glutinous 
substance extracted from the shoots of a certain 
plant is next mixed with it in stated quantities, 
and upon this mixture chiefly depends the 
quality of the paper. 

As soon as this has taken place, the whole 
is again beaten together until it becomes a 
thick viscous liquor, which, after being re- 
duced to an essential state of consistency, by a 
further admixture of water, is then transferred 


to a large reservoir or vat, having on each side 
of it a drying stove, in the form of a ridge of 
a house — that is, consisting of two sloping 
sides touching at top. These sides are covered 
externally with an exceedingly smooth coating 
of stucco, and a flue passes through the brick- 
work, so as to keep the whole of each side 
equally and moderately warm. A vat and a 
stove are placed alternately in the manufactory, 
so that there are two sides of two different 
stoves adjacent to each vat. The workman 
dips his mould, which is sometimes formed 
merely of bulrushes, cut in narrow strips, and 
mounted in a frame, into the vat, and then 
raises it out again, the water passing off 
through the perforations in the bottom, and 
the pulpy paper-stuff remaining on its surface. 
The frame of the mould is then removed, and 
the bottom is pressed against the sides of one 
of the stoves, so as to make the sheet of paper 
adhere to its surface, and allow the sieve (as 
it were) to be withdrawn. The moisture, of 
course, speedily evaporates by the warmth of 
the stove, but before the paper is quite dry it 
is brushed over on its outer surface with a size 


made of rice, which also soon dries, and the 
paper is then stripped off in a finished state, 
having one surface exquisitely smooth, it being 
seldom the practice of the Chinese to write 
or print on both sides of the paper. While 
all this is taking place, the moulder has made 
a second sheet, and pressed it against the side 
of the other stove, where it undergoes the 
operation of sizing and drying, precisely as in 
the former case. 

That very delicate material, which is 
brought from China in pieces only a few 
inches square, and commonly, but erroneously, 
termed rice paper, is in reality but a membrane 
of the bread-fruit tree, obtained by cutting 
the stem spirally round the axis, and after- 
wards flattening it by pressure. That it is not 
an artificial production may very readily be 
perceived by contrasting one of the more 
translucent specimens with a piece of the 
finest manufactured paper, by the aid of the 

The precise period at which the manu- 
facture of paper was first introduced into 
Europe appears to be rather a matter of 


uncertainty. Paper-mills, moved by water 
power, were in operation in Tuscany at the 
commencement of the fourteenth century; 
and at Nuremberg, in Germany, one was 
established in 1390, by Ulman Stromer, who 
wrote the first work ever published on the art 
of paper making. He seems to have employed 
a great number of persons, all of whom were 
obliged to take an oath that they would not 
teach any one the art of paper making, or 
make it on their own account. In the fol- 
lowing year, when anxious to increase the 
means of its production, he met with such 
strong opposition from those he employed, 
who would not consent to any enlargement 
of the mill, that it became at length requisite 
to bring them before the magistrates, by whom 
they were imprisoned, after which they sub- 
mitted by renewing their oaths. Two or 
three centuries later, we find the Dutch, in 
like manner, so extremely jealous with respect 
to the manufacture, as to prohibit the expor- 
tation of moulds, under no less severe a penalty 
than that of death. 

Fuller makes some exceedingly curious 


observations respecting the paper of his time, 
which may, perhaps, be introduced here with 
advantage. He says — " Paper participates in 
some sort of the character of the country which 
makes it ; the Venetian being neat, subtile, 
and court-like ; the French light, slight, and 
slender ; and the Dutch thick, corpulent, and 
gross, sucking up the ink with the sponginess 
thereof." He complains that the paper manu- 
factories were not then sufficiently encouraged, 
considering the vast sums of money expended 
in our land for paper out of Italy, France, and 
Germany, which might be lessened were it 
made in our nation. " To such who object," 
says he, " that we can never equal the per- 
fection of Venice paper, I return, neither can 
we match the purity of Venice glasses, and 
yet many green ones are blown in Sussex, 
profitable to the makers, and convenient to 
the users, our home-spun paper might be 
found beneficial." 

With reference to any particular time or 
place at which this inestimable invention was 
first adopted in England, all researches into 
existing records contribute little to our assist- 


ance. The first paper mill erected here is 
commonly attributed to Sir John Spielman, a 
German, who established one in 1588, at 
Dartford, for which the honour of knighthood 
was afterwards conferred upon him by Queen 
Elizabeth, who was also pleased to grant him 
a licence " for the sole gathering for ten years 
of all rags, &c, necessary for the making of 
such paper." It is, however, quite certain 
that paper mills were in existence here long 
before Spielman's time. Shakspeare, in the 
second part of his play of Henry the Sixth, 
the plot of which appears laid at least a 
century previously, refers to a paper mill. 
In fact, he introduces it as an additional 
weight to the charge which Jack Cade is 
made to bring against Lord Saye, " Thou hast 
most traitorously corrupted," says he, " the 
youth of the realm, in erecting a grammar 
school ; and whereas, before, our forefathers 
had no other books but the score and the 
tally, thou hast caused printing to be used, 
and, contrary to the king, his crown and 
dignity, thou hast built a paper mill." 

An earlier trace of the manufacture in 


this country occurs in a book printed by 
Caxton, about the year 1490, in which it is 
said of John Tate — ■ 

"Which late hathein England doo make thya paper thymic, 
That now in our Englyssh thys booke is printed inne." 

His mill was situate at or near Stevenage, 
in Hertfordshire, and that it was considered 
worthy of especial notice is evident from an 
entry made in Henry the Seventh's House- 
hold Book, on the 25th of May, 1498 — " For 
a rewarde geven at the paper-mylne, 16s. 8d." 
And again in 1499 — "Geven in rewarde to 
Tate of the mylne, 6s. 8d." 

Still, it appears far less probable that Shak- 
speare alluded to Tate's mill (although esta- 
blished at a period corresponding in many 
respects with that of occurrences referred to in 
connection), than to that of Sir John Spielman. 
Standing as it did in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the scene of Jack Cade's rebellion, 
and being esteemed so important at the time 
as to call forth the marked patronage of 
Queen Elizabeth, the extent of the operations 
carried on there were calculated to arouse, 


and no doubt did arouse, considerable national 
interest ; and one can hardly help thinking, 
from the prominence to which Shakspeare 
assigns the existence of a paper mill (coupled 
as such allusion is with an acknowledged 
liberty, inherent in him, of transposing events 
to add force to his style, and the very con- 
siderable doubt as to the exact year in which 
the play was written), that the reference made 
was to none other than that of Sir John 
Spielman's establishment of 1588, concerning 
which we find it said — 

" Six hundred men are set to work by him, 
That else might starve or seek abroad thetr bread, 
Who now live well, and go full brave and trim,, 
And who may boast they are with paper fed." 

Understanding that some five-and-thirty or 
forty years since it was asserted by the then 
occupier of North Newton mill, near Banbury, 
in Oxfordshire, which at that time was the 
property of Lord Saye and Sele, that such was 
the first erected in this country for the manu- 
facture of paper, and also that it was to that 
mill Shakspeare referred in the passage just 
quoted, I recently communicated with Lord 


Saye and Sele as to the plausibility of the suppo- 
sition ; remarking at the same time, £s I would 
now, that although it was of course quite 
impossible to award the immortal bard great 
credit for chronological accuracy, it must, I 
thought, be admitted, that so marvellous an 
invention, unless really in existence, could not 
by any possibility of conception have been 
conjured up even to supply the unlimited 
necessities of the poet's strain. His lordship, 
however, at once terminated the probability 
of this mill taking the precedence, even of 
Sir John Spielman's, by informing me that the 
first nobleman succeeding to that title who 
had property in Oxfordshire was the son of 
the first Lord Saye, to whom Shakspeare 
makes reference. 

Be the introduction or establishment of the 
invention, so far as this country is concerned, 
when it may, little progress appears to have 
resulted therefrom, even so late as the middle 
of the seventeenth century. In 1695, a com- 
pany was formed in Scotland " for manu- 
facturing white writing and printing paper," 
relating to which, " Articles concluded and 


agreed upon at a general meeting at Edinburgh, 
the 19th day of August," in the same year, 
may still be seen by those who are suffi- 
ciently curious, in the library of the British 
Museum. It is also recorded in the Crafts- 
man (910), that William the Third granted 
the Huguenots refuged in England a patent 
for establishing paper manufactories, and that 
Parliament likewise granted to them other 
privileges, amongst which, in all probability, 
that very unsatisfactory practice of putting up 
each ream with two quires composed entirely 
of sheets spoiled in course of production. 
Their undertaking, however, like that of many 
others, appears to have met with very little 

In fact, the making of paper here scarcely 
reached any high degree of perfection until 
about 1760-5, at which period the celebrated 
James Whatman established his reputation at 

Until very recently, Whatman's papers (so 
called) were manufactured at two mills, totally 
distinct, both of which were worked by the 
descendants of Mr. Whatman's successors ; the 



paper in the one case being readily distin- 
guished by the water mark, " J. Whatman, 
Turkey Mill," and in the other by the water 
mark simply " J. Whatman," but bearing 
upon the upper wrapper of each ream the 
original and well-known stamp, containing 
the initials L. V. G., which are those of 
L. V. Gerrevink, as celebrated a Dutch manu- 
facturer prior to Mr. Whatman's improve- 
ments, as Mr. Whatman's name has since 
become in all parts of the world. 

The Report of the Juries of the Great 
Exhibition of i 85 1 — a work from whence 
information might very naturally be sought, 
and which one would have supposed to be 
unexceptionable in point of authenticity — 
contains an unfortunate error with reference 
to the position of Mr. Whatman at that time. 
It is there stated that he gained his knowledge 
of the manufacture prior to establishing these 
well-known mills, " by working as a journey- 
man in most of the principal paper manu- 
factories of the Continent," which is altogether 
an erroneous assertion ; for Mr. Whatman, 
previously to his being engaged as a manu- 


facturer, was an officer in the Kent Militia, 
and acquired the information, which eventually 
rendered him so successful, by travelling in 
the suite of the British Ambassador to Hol- 
land, where the best papers were then made ; 
and the insight thus obtained enabled his 
genius to effect the great improvements after- 
wards so universally admitted. 

The comparatively recent application of 
machinery has effected wonderful results in 
the manufacture of paper. 

The principle of paper making by ma- 
chinery is simply this : instead of employing 
moulds and felts of limited dimensions, as was 
originally the practice, the peculiar merit of 
the invention consists in the adaptation of an 
endless wire gauze to receive the paper pulp, 
and again an endless felt, to which in progress 
the paper is transferred ; and thus by a mar- 
vellously delicate adjustment, while the wire 
at one end receives but a constant flow of 
liquid pulp, in the course of two or three 
minutes the finished fabric is carefully wound 
on a roller at the other extremity. 

The largest paper made by hand, termed 


Antiquarian, measures 53 inches by 31, and 
so great is the weight of liquid pulp employed 
in the formation of a single sheet, that no 
fewer than nine men are required, besides 
additional assistance in raising the mould out 
of the vat by means of pulleys ; while by the 
aid of the paper machine, the most perfect 
production may be ensured, of a continuous 
length, and eight feet wide, without any 
positive necessity for personal superintendence. 
Instead of counting sheets in course of pro- 
duction, as formerly, or even measuring the 
length by yards, we may actually have the 
paper drawn out as it were, and wound up, 
miles in length. In the recent Dublin Ex- 
hibition, a sheet was exhibited which was 
said to have been of sufficient length to wrap 
round the world ; but, I must confess, that I 
am not in a position to vouch for the accuracy 
of the statement. An anecdote, however, is 
told (the truth of which I have no reason to 
doubt) of the patentee of this machine, and a 
relative or friend of his, of some considerable 
standing and influence in the pottery district, 
who were dining together about the period at 



which this machine was first adopted ; when 
the one, speaking of the advantages which he 
conceived the new mode would prove to his 
friend, alluded above all others to the remark- 
able capability which it possessed of producing 
paper of any length that could possibly be 
required. " Well," said his friend, " I very 
much doubt that ; but if you can make me 
five miles of the quality I require, I shall cer- 
tainly have little hesitation in admitting all the 
perfection and suitability which you have 
laboured to impress upon me." The very 
next day the machine was set to work, and 
timed, in order to ascertain the required length 
wound upon the reel, which, after being 
charged with Excise duty, was forwarded 
without delay to its destination ; and, as may 
be conceived, to the utter astonishment of his 
incredulous friend. 

It is a fact, which certainly deserves to be 
noticed for its singularity as well as for the 
strong point of view in which it places the 
merits of this invention, that an art of such 
great importance to society as that of the 
manufacture of paper should have remained 


almost dormant for at least eight centuries 
since paper is first believed to have been in 
use, and that upwards of 200 of those years 
should have elapsed since its first introduction 
into England, without any mechanical im- 
provement whatever as regards the processes 
which were then employed. It is true, that 
various attempts from time to time were 
made, but in every instance they appear to 
have met with very little success. In France, 
an ingenious artist (Monsieur Montgolfier) 
contrived three figures in wood to do the 
work of the vatman, the coucher, and the 
layer ; but, after persevering for six months, 
and incurring considerable expense, he was at 
length compelled to abandon his scheme. 
And although paper was previously manu- 
factured in China, in Persia, and indeed 
throughout all Asia, sometimes of considerable 
length, it was so, not by machinery, but by 
means of a mould of the size of the paper 
intended to be made, suspended like a swing, 
and having men placed at the distance of about 
every four feet, for the purpose of producing 
an uniform shaking motion, after the mould 

E 2 


had been immersed in the vat, in order to 
compact the pulp. 

Such, then, was the rude state of this im- 
portant manufacture, even up to the com- 
mencement of the present century, when a 
small working model of a continuous machine 
was introduced into this country from France 
by Mr. John Gamble, brother-in-law to 
Monsieur Leger Didot, the proprietor at that 
time of the paper manufactory at Essonne. 

The individual to whose genius we owe 
that beautiful contrivance, which has since 
been adopted wherever the want which it was 
designed to remedy has been truly felt, and 
which has contributed in an eminent degree 
to the advancement of civilization, was an 
unassuming clerk in the establishment of 
Monsieur Didot, named Louis Robert, who 
following his favourite pursuit of inventing 
and improving, not unfrequently had to bear 
the reproach of wasting time on an invention 
that could never be brought to perfection. 
Fortunately, however, the patience and atten- 
tion of this persevering man were at length 
sufficiently rewarded by the completion of a 



small model, not larger than a bird organ, 
which enabled him to produce paper of a 
continuous length, although but the width 
of a piece of tape. So successful was this 
performance, that his employer, instead of 
continuing to thwart his progress, was now 
induced to afford him the means of making 
a model upon a larger scale ; and in a few 
months a machine was completed, capable of 
making paper the width of Colombier (24 
inches), for which the consumption in France 
was very great. After a series of experiments 
and improvements, Louis Robert applied to 
the French Government for a patent, or brevet 
d* invention, which he obtained in 1799 for a 
term of fifteen years, and was awarded the 
sum of 8,000 francs as a reward for his 
ingenuity. The specification of this patent 
is published in the second volume of the 
" Brevets d'Inventions Expires." Shortly 
afterwards M. Didot purchased Louis Robert's 
patent and paper machine for 25,000 francs, 
to be paid by instalments ; but not fulfilling 
his engagements, the latter commenced legal 
proceedings, and recovered possession of his 


patent, by a decision dated June 23rd, 1801. 
Towards the close of the year 1800, M. Didot 
proposed to his brother-in-law, Mr. Gamble, 
that patents should be taken out in England, 
and suggested that he, being an Englishman, 
and holding a situation under the British 
Government, would in all probability accom- 
plish it without much difficulty. To this 
proposition Mr. Gamble assented, and in the 
month of March, 1801, he left Paris for 
London, where, happily for the vigorous 
development of this project, he obtained an 
introduction, immediately upon his arrival, 
to one of the principal wholesale stationery 
houses in Great Britain — a firm of consider- 
able opulence — and to those gentlemen he 
mentioned the nature and circumstances of 
his visit, at the same time showing them 
several rolls of the paper of great length, 
which had been made at Essonne by Louis 
Robert's machine, and which induced them 
to take a share in the patent. 

The firm alluded to was that of the Messrs. 
Fourdrinier — a name which has indeed be- 
come alike famous and unfortunate — and this 


transaction it was which first connected them 
with the paper machine. In the year 1801, 
Mr. Gamble returned to Paris, and concerted 
measures with Monsieur Leger Didot and 
Louis Robert, to have the working model, 
which was then at Essonne, sent over to 
England to assist in the construction of other 
machines ; and the following year M. Didot 
arriving in London, was introduced by Mr. 
Gamble to the Messrs. Fourdrinier, when a 
series of experiments for improving the 
machine was considered desirable, and at once 
commenced. But in order to accomplish the 
arduous object which those gentlemen then 
had in view, they laboured without inter- 
mission for nearly six years, when, after 
incurring an expense of £60,000, which was 
borne exclusively by the Messrs. Fourdrinier, 
they at length succeeded in giving some 
farther organization and connection to the 
mechanical parts, for which they likewise 
obtained a patent ; and finding eventually that 
there was little prospect of being recompensed 
for labour and risk, or even reimbursed their 
expenses, unless Parliament should think 


proper to grant an extension of the patent, 
they determined upon making a fresh appli- 
cation to the Legislature for that purpose. 
But it would appear that although in the 
Bill, as it passed the House of Commons, such 
prolonged period extended to fourteen years, 
in the Lords it was limited to seven, with an 
understanding that such term should be ex- 
tended to seven years more in the event of 
the patentees proving, upon a future appli- 
cation, that they had not been sufficiently 
remunerated. No such application, however, 
was made, in consequence of a Standing Order 
of the House of Lords, placed on their Journal 
subsequently to the passing of the said Acl: ; 
which regulation had the effect of depriving 
the Messrs. Fourdrinier of any benefit what- 
ever from the invention ; and ultimately, so 
great were the difficulties they had to en- 
counter, and so little encouragement or support 
did they receive, that the time and attention 
required to mature this valuable invention, 
and the large capital which it absorbed, were 
the means of reducing those wealthy and liberal 
men to the humiliating condition of bank- 



ruptcy. A leading article in the Times, June 
17, 1847, speaking of Mr. Henry Fourdrinier, 
thus concludes by advocating his claims : — 
" Three days only are past since an assembly, 
illustrious for rank and station, met to cele- 
brate and immortalize the memory of Caxton. 
What more fitting or graceful opportunity of 
paying a tribute of respect and justice to his 
fellow-labourer in an adjoining field ? the one 
the father of printing, the other the inventor (?) 
of a process by which the full benefits of 
printing have been realized to the civilized 
world. And in the case of Mr. Fourdrinier 
this advantage is found, that he can receive 
in person the tribute of a nation's gratitude ; 
an octogenarian, he still lives ; unlike Caxton, 
he is not yet a subject for posthumous honours. 
It is not a monument he wants, but justice. 
The world, no doubt, according to ancient 
precedent, would rather pay its tribute of 
admiration, if we should not rather say its 
debt of homage, after death. But it is fortu- 
nately in the power of the present age to 
point to a modern example of tardy but full 
reparation made to a living man, a great im- 


provement upon the old rule, the mockery of 
a national funeral, and Westminster Abbey. 
Lord Dundonald's case will always stand as a 
brilliant exception to the common neglect of 
contemporary merit, and by his side it would 
be well to place, at no great interval, the man 
who in a humbler sphere, but better suited to 
an age of peace, has benefited humanity, by 
facilitating the diffusion of letters, and the 
acquisition of knowledge. " Powerful and 
influential as is that journal, however, this 
worthv man was still left to combat so bitter 
a reverse, without even the means of procuring 
comfort in his declining years. But I am 
happy to say that an appeal has since been 
made to that particular branch of trade so 
materially benefited by the invention, the 
paper manufacturers, in order to furnish the 
surviving claimants upon the public gratitude 
with a competent annuity for the remainder 
of their days. And I sincerely hope that the 
results of this laudable effort may have proved 
to be as worthy the spirit of its originators, 
as on the part of the public generally it de- 
served consideration, as being supremely a 


national duty. For, be it remembered, that 
while the value and importance of such an 
invention to the paper maker is sufficiently 
clear and conclusive, from the fad: of its general 
adoption throughout the United Kingdom, by 
no less than 700 manufacturers (averaging, 
probably, twice that number of machines) ; 
so on the other hand, we surely cannot remain 
unmindful of its effects and benefits upon our- 
selves, when, in contrasting the results of the 
paper-making machine with the productions 
of a former period, we find the cost reduced 
to the consumer considerably more than one- 
half, in some instances to actually a fourth. 

Thus, then, it will be seen, that as civilization 
has advanced, the facilities for recording and 
transmitting facts have uniformly improved 
and multiplied, until now, instead of oral 
tradition, necessarily uncertain ; instead of the 
bark and leaf, perishable or fragile ; instead of 
the papyrus, so brittle ; the parchment, so 
costly ; the raw cotton paper, so expensive ; 
instead of inscriptions by the unwieldly style 
and by the slow-paced pen, — we have now a 
cheap, serviceable material, manufactured from 


the most useless of fabrics, and even from the 
very refuse of our clothing, which, conjointly 
with that art which preserves all other arts, 
enables us far to surpass, in recording and 
transmitting power, even the greatest demands 
in the world's history. 

Chapter II. 

On the Materials employed in the Formation of Paper — 
Method of Preparation — Processes of Comminution — Wash- 
ings Bleaching^ etc., described — Paper Making by Hand — 
Paper-making Machine — Sizing Apparatus — Cutting Ma- 
chine, etc., explained — General Observations on what are 
termed Water Marks — Manner of effecting the same — Im- 
portance frequently attached to them — Ireland's Fabrication 
of the Shakspeare MSS. — Difficulty of procuring suitable 
Paper for the purpose — On the perfeclion to which Water 
Marks have now attained, especially with reference to the 
production of Light and Shade, as seen in the New Bank 
Note, etc. etc. 

N the present chapter it will be my 
object to take as general a glance at 
the principles of paper making, as 
in the former it was my endeavour to treat 
its history. 

First, then, we have to notice the nature of 
some of the materials employed. And although 
everybody is supposed to know that paper is 


made from rags, it may, perhaps, be excusable 
to consider of what the rags themselves ori- 
ginally were composed. Unquestionably, the 
simplest definition one could give would be, 
fragments of worn-out clothing ; and by 
clothing, no doubt we all sufficiently under- 
stand the dress, vesture, or garments usually 
adopted by man. Still we have to ask our- 
selves of what are these articles of clothing 
composed ? It has been somewhat shrewdly 
remarked, in every instance, of a something of 
which man has previously denuded something 
else. At one time (as we all know) he cun- 
ningly entraps innumerable individuals, of the 
fox, weasel, and squirrel tribes, to strip them 
of their warm and valuable fur. At another, 
he hatches and feeds legions of caterpillars, 
that he may rob them of the defensive padding 
which they spin to protect their helplessness 
while passing through the chrysalis state. 
Sometimes he pastures the sheep for its skin 
and its wool, occasionally setting so little store 
by the carcase as to melt it into tallow, or 
burn it as fuel. And even mother earth her- 
self is treated with no greater forbearance ; by 


alternately feeding her up with manure, and 
teasing and tormenting her surface with 
tillage, she is coaxed and compelled to send 
forth a living vegetable down, which is shorn, 
plucked and plundered from her bosom, in 
the shape of cotton, flax, and hemp. 

And all those silks, woollens, flax, hemp, 
and cotton, in all their varied forms, whether 
as cambric, lace, linen, holland, fustian, cor- 
duroy, bagging, canvas, or even as cables, are 
or can be used in the manufacture of paper of 
one kind or another. Still, when we speak 
of rags, as of necessity, they accumulate, and 
are gathered up by those who make it their 
business to collect them, they are very far 
from answering the purposes of paper making. 
Rags, to the paper maker, are almost as various, 
in point of quality or distinction, as the ma- 
terials which are sought after through the 
influence of fashion. Thus, the paper maker, 
in buying rags, requires to know exactly of 
what the bulk is composed. If he is a manu- 
facturer of white papers, no matter whether 
intended for writing or printing, silk or woollen 
rags would be found altogether useless, inas- 


much, as is well known, the bleach will fail 
to act upon any animal substance whatever. 
And although he may purchase even a mixture 
in proper proportions adapted for the quality 
he is in the habit of supplying, it is as essential 
in the processes of preparation, that they shall 
be previously separated. Cotton in its raw 
state, as may be readily conceived, requires far 
less preparation than a strong hempen fabric, 
and thus, to meet the requirements of the 
paper maker, we have rags classed under 
different denominations, — as, for instance, be- 
sides Fines and Seconds, we have 'Thirds, which 
are composed of fustians, corduroy, and similar 
fabrics ; Stamps or Prints (as they are termed 
by the paper maker), which are coloured rags, 
and also innumerable foreign rags, distinguished 
by certain well-known marks, indicating their 
various peculiarities. I might mention, how- 
ever, that although by far the greater portion 
of the materials employed are such as we 
have already alluded to, it is not from their 
possessing any exclusive suitableness — since 
various fibrous vegetable substances have 
frequently been used, and are indeed still 


successfully employed — but rather on account 
of their comparatively trifling value, arising 
from the limited use to which they are 
otherwise applicable. 

To convey some idea of the number of 
substances which have been really tried ; in 
the library of the British Museum may be 
seen a book printed in low Dutch, containing 
upwards of sixty specimens of paper, made of 
different materials, the result of one man's 
experiments alone, so far back as the year 
1772. In fact, almost every species of tough 
fibrous vegetable, and even animal substance, 
has at one time or another been employed ; 
even the roots of trees, their bark, the bine 
of hops, the tendrils of the vine, the stalks of 
the nettle, the common thistle, the stem of 
the hollyhock, the sugar cane, cabbage stalks, 
beet-root, wood shavings, sawdust, hay, straw, 
willow, and the like. Two inventions have 
been patented for manufacturing paper en- 
tirely from wood. One process consists in 
first boiling the wood in caustic soda lye, in 
order to remove the resinous matter, and then 
washing to remove the alkali ; the wood is 


next treated with chlorine gas, or an oxygenous 
compound of chlorine, in a suitable apparatus, 
and washed to free it from the hydrochloric 
acid formed ; it is now treated with a small 
quantity of caustic soda, which converts it 
instantly into pulp, which has only to be 
washed and bleached, when it will merely 
require to be beaten for an hour or an hour 
and a half in the ordinary beating-engine, and 
made into paper. The other invention is very 
simple, consisting merely of a wooden box 
enclosing a grindstone, which has a roughened 
surface, and against which the blocks of wood 
are kept in close contact by a lever, a small 
stream of water being allowed to flow upon 
the stone as it turns, in order to free it of the 
pulp, and to assist in carrying it off through 
an outlet at the bottom. Of course the pulp 
thus produced cannot be employed for any 
but the coarser kinds of paper. Straw is 
occasionally used, in connection with other 
materials, such as linen or cotton rags, and 
even with considerable advantage, providing 
the processes of preparation are thoroughly 
understood. Where such is not the case, and 


the silica contained in the straw has not been 
destroyed (by means of a strong alkali), the 
paper will invariably be found more or less 
brittle. The waste, however, which the 
straw undergoes, in addition to a most ex- 
pensive process of preparation, necessarily 
precludes its adoption to any great extent. 

With all the drawbacks attending the pre- 
paration of straw, there is certainly no fibre 
to compete with it at present as an auxiliary 
to that of rags. A thick brown paper, of 
tolerable strength, may be made from it 
cheaply, but for printing or writing purposes 
only an inferior description can be produced, 
and of little comparative strength to that of 
rag paper. Its chief and best use is that of 
imparting stiffness to common newspaper. 
Some manufacturers prefer for this purpose 
an intermixture of straw with paper shavings, 
and others in place of the paper shavings give 
the preference to rags. The proportion of 
straw used in connection with rags or paper 
shavings varies from 50 to 80 per cent. 

The cost at the present time of producing 
two papers of equal quality, one entirely from 

F 2 


straw, and the other entirely from rags, would 
be very nearly equal ; for although the cost 
of the rags would be at least JT 1 7 per ton, and 
the cost of the straw not more than £2 per 
ton, in addition to the greatly increased cost 
of preparing the straw, the rags would only 
waste one-third, while the straw would waste 
fully one-half. Thus taking into consideration 
the waste which each undergoes in process of 
preparation, the aclual cost of material in pro- 
ducing a ton of paper may be stated relatively 
as £25 for rags, and £4 for straw. The cost, 
however, of preparation, which includes power, 
labour, and chemicals, being so very much 
greater in the case of the straw — from two to 
three times as much as that of rags — a 
similarity of value is thus ultimately attained. 

In order to reduce the straw to a suitable 
consistency for paper making, it is placed in 
a boiler, with a large quantity of strong alkali, 
and with a pressure of steam equal to 120, 
and sometimes to 150 lbs. per square inch; 
the extreme heat being attained in super- 
heating the steam after it leaves the boiler, 
by passing it through a coiled pipe over a fire, 


and thus the silica becomes destroyed, and the 
straw softened to pulp, which, after being- 
freed from the alkali by washing it in cold 
water, is subsequently bleached and beaten in 
the ordinary rag engine, to which we shall 
presently refer. 

All that can be said as to the suitableness 
of fibre in general, may be summed up in 
very few words ; any vegetable fibre having a 
corrugated edge, which will enable it to cohere 
in the mass, is fit for the purpose of paper 
making ; the extent to which such might be 
applied can solely be determined by the 
question of cost in its production ; and hitherto 
nearly everything which has been proposed as 
a substitute for rags has been excluded either 
by the cost of freight, the cost of preparation, 
or the expenses combined. Given, plenty of 
money to work out their processes, sanguine 
but unpractical inventors may, regardless of 
cost, produce paper from wood, hay, or stubble; 
but, to quote the words of Dr. Forbes Royle, 
"The generality of modern experimentalists 
seem to be wholly unacquainted with the 
labours of their predecessors, many of them 


commencing improvement by repeating ex- 
periments which had already been made, and 
announcing results as new which had long 
previously been ascertained." 

For all writing and printing purposes, 
which manifestly are the most important, 
nothing has yet been discovered to lessen the 
value of rags, neither is it at all probable that 
there will, inasmuch as rags of necessity must 
continue accumulating ; and before it will 
answer the purpose of the paper maker to 
employ new material, which is not so well 
adapted for his purpose as the old, he must 
be enabled to purchase it for considerably less 
than it would be worth in the manufacture 
of textile fabrics, and, besides all this, rags 
possess in themselves the very great advantage 
of having been repeatedly prepared for paper 
making by the numerous alkaline washings 
which they necessarily receive during their 
period of use. 

England requires upwards of i 20,000 tons 
of rags yearly, a large proportion of which 
she derives from a foreign source. But surely 
our home-supply could be greatly enlarged, 


and to an extent more than adequate to all 
demands. The collection of rags has hitherto 
been by a small traffic in the hands of petty 
dealers ; and the general carelessness of col- 
lection and the lowness of price have equally 
diminished the quantity. It has been ascer- 
tained, that in scarcely fifty houses out of 
every hundred, any collection is ever made. 
This negligence arises partly from mistakes 
as to the nature, value, and manner of the 
collection. It has been commonly sup- 
posed that white rags alone are of use in paper 
making. But coloured rags generally are 
useful, and even waste paper can be valuably 
employed in the manufacture. 

Every housekeeper ought to have three 
bags ; a white one for the white rags, a green 
one for the coloured, and a black one for the 
waste paper (the three might be furnished for 
a shilling) which would prevent litter, waste, and 
the trouble of collecting when the demand came. 

A suitable agency formed in the towns and 
villages would settle all demands, arrange the 
contributions, and reduce the whole into a 
regular trade. 


Parochial officers might rind attention to this 
subject a very effectual mode of increasing the 
means at their disposal for charitable purposes. 

The general apprehension, that we require 
French or foreign rags for our manufacture is 
a mistake ; we have a sufficient supply at home 
if we will but make use of it. There are 
more rags wasted, burnt, or left to rot, than 
would make our paper manufacturers inde- 
pendent of all assistance from abroad. 

A regular communication ought to be 
formed by country carriage, and by railroads, 
for the conveyance of the bags to London, 
or to those Paper Mills in the country which 
enter largely into the trade. 

We require only the application of the 
means in our possession. A little industry, a 
little intelligence, and an established system, 
would perfectly secure us from failure in an 
important branch of art and trade, already 
worth six millions sterling, employing a large 
number of skilled workmen, and conducing, 
most effectually, to the industry and comfort 
of the peasantry, and to the trade and resources 
of the Empire. 


In considering the various processes or 
stages of the manufacture of paper, we have 
first to notice that of carefully sorting and 
cutting the rags into small pieces, which is 
done by women ; each woman standing at a 
table frame, the upper surface of which con- 
sists of very coarse wire cloth ; a large knife 
being fixed in the centre of the table, nearly 
in a vertical position. The woman stands so 
as to have the back of the blade opposite to 
her, while at her right hand on the floor is a 
large wooden box, with several divisions. 
Her business consists in examining the rags, 
opening the seams, removing dirt, pins, needles, 
and buttons of endless variety, which would 
be liable to injure the machinery, or damage 
the quality of the paper. She then cuts the 
rags into small pieces, not exceeding four 
inches square, by drawing them sharply across 
the edge of the knife, at the same time keeping 
each quality distinct in the several divisions of 
the box placed on her right hand. During 
this process, much of the dirt, sand, and so 
forth, passes through the wire cloth into a 
drawer underneath, which is occasionallv 


cleaned out. After this, the rags are removed 
to what is called the dusting machine, which 
is a large cylindrical frame covered with 
similar coarse iron wire-cloth, and having a 
powerful revolving shaft extending through 
the interior, with a number of spokes fixed 
transversely, nearly long enough to touch the 
cage. By means of this contrivance, the 
machine being fixed upon an incline of some 
inches to the foot, the rags, which are put 
in at the top, have any remaining particles of 
dust that may still adhere to them effectually 
beaten out by the time they reach the bottom. 

The rags being thus far cleansed, have next 
to be boiled in an alkaline lye or solution, 
made more or less strong as the rags are more 
or less coloured, the objecl: being to get rid 
of the remaining dirt and some of the colouring 
matter. The proportion is from four to ten 
pounds of carbonate of soda with one-third of 
quick lime to the hundred weight of material. 
In this the rags are boiled for several hours, 
according to their quality. 

The method generally adopted is that of 
placing the rags in large cylinders, which are 


constantly, though slowly, revolving; thus 
causing the rags to be as frequently turned 
over, and into which a jet of steam is cast 
with a pressure of something near 30 lbs. to 
the square inch. 

After this process of cleansing, the rags are 
considered in a fit state to be torn or macerated 
until they become reduced to pulp, which was 
accomplished, some five -and -thirty or forty 
years since, by setting them to heat and fer- 
ment for many days in close vessels, whereby 
in reality they underwent a species of putre- 
faction. Another method subsequently em- 
ployed was that of beating them by means of 
stamping rods, shod with iron, working in 
strong oak or stone mortars, and moved by 
water-wheel machinery. So rude and in- 
effective, however, was this apparatus, that no 
fewer than forty pairs of stamps were required 
to operate a night and a day in preparing one 
hundred weight of material. At the present 
time, the average weekly consumption of 
rags, at many paper mills, exceeds even thirty 
tons. The cylinder or engine mode of com- 
minuting rags into paper pulp appears to have 


been invented in Holland, about the middle 
of the last century, but received very little 
attention here for some years afterwards. The 
accompanying drawing will serve to convey 

some idea of the wonderful rapidity with 
which the work is at present accomplished. 
No less than twelve tons per week can now 
be prepared by means of this simple con- 
trivance. The horizontal section represents 
an oblong cistern, of cast iron, or wood lined 



with lead, into which the rags, with a sufficient 
quantity of water, are received. It is divided 
by a partition, as shown (A), to regulate the 
course of the stuff. The spindle upon which 
each cylinder C moves, extending across the 
engine, and being put in motion by a band 
wheel or pinion at the point B. One cylinder 
is made to traverse at a much swifter rate 
than the other, in order that the rags may be 
the more effectually triturated. The cylinders 
C, as shown in the vertical section, are fur- 
nished with numerous cutters, running parallel 
to the axis, and again beneath them similar 
cutters are mounted (D) somewhat obliquely, 
against which, when in motion, the rags are 
drawn by the rapid rotation of the cylinders, 
and thus reduced to the smallest filaments 
requisite, sometimes not exceeding the six- 
teenth of an inch in length ; the distance 
between the fixed and moveable blades being 
capable of any adjustment, simply by elevating 
or depressing the bearings upon which the 
necks of the shaft are supported. When in 
operation, it is of course necessary to enclose 
the cylinders in a case, as shown, E, otherwise 


a large proportion of the rags would, inevitably, 
be thrown out of the engine. The rags are 
first worked coarsely, with a stream of water 
running through the engine, which tends 
effectually to wash them, as also to open their 
fibres ; and in order to carry off the dirty 
water, what is termed a washing drum is 
sometimes employed, consisting simply of a 
framework covered with very fine wire gauze, 
in the interior of which, connected with the 
shaft or spindle, which is hollow, are two 
suction tubes, and by this means, on the 
principle of a syphon, the dirty water con- 
stantly flows away through a larger tube 
running down outside, which is connected 
with that in the centre, without carrying 
away any of the fibre. 

After this, the mass is placed in another 
engine, where, if necessary, it is bleached by 
an admixture of chloride of lime, which is 
retained in the engine until its action becomes 
apparent. The pulp is then let down into 
large slate cisterns to steep, prior to being 
reduced to a suitable consistency by the beating 
engine, as already described. The rolls or 


cylinders, however, of the beating engine are 
always made to rotate much faster than when 
employed in washing or bleaching, revolving 
probably from 120 to 150 times per minute, 
and thus, supposing the cylinders to contain 
forty-eight teeth each, passing over eight 
others, as shown in the drawing, effecting no 
fewer than 103,680 cuts in that short period. 
From this the great advantage of the modern 
engine over the old-fashioned mortar machine, 
in turning out a quantity of paper pulp, will 
be at once apparent. The introduction of 
colouring matter in connection with the paper 
manufacture is accomplished simply by its 
intermixture with the pulp while in process 
of beating in the engine. 

Although the practice of blueing paper is 
not, perhaps, so customary now as was the 
case a few years back, the extent to which it 
is still carried may be a matter of considerable 
astonishment. On its first introduction, when, 
as regards colour, the best paper was anything 
but pleasing, so striking a novelty would no 
doubt be hailed as a great improvement, and 
as such received into general use ; but no 


such an artifice is really needed. In fact, 
this is proved by the superior delicacy of a 
first-class paper, now made without any 
colouring matter whatever, and which is 
truly beautiful, both in texture and appear- 

Common materials are frequently and very 
readily employed, through the assistance of 
colouring matter, which tends to conceal the 
imperfection. Indeed, it would be difficult 
to name an instance of apparent deception 
more forcible than that which is accomplished 
by the use of ultramarine. Until very recently, 
the fine bluish tinge given to many writing 
papers was derived from the admixture of that 
formerly expensive, but now, being prepared 
artificially, cheap mineral blue, the oxide of 
cobalt, generally termed smalts, which has 
still the advantage over the ultramarine of 
imparting a colour which will endure for a 
much longer period. One pound of ultra- 
marine, however, going further than four of 
smalts, the former necessarily meets with more 

# Sec Richard Herring's " Pure Wove Writing Paper.'' 


extended application, and where the using is 
rightly understood, and the materials employed, 
instead of being fine rags, comparative rubbish, 
excessively bleached, its application proves 
remarkably serviceable to the paper maker in 
concealing for a time all other irregularities, 
and even surpassing in appearance the best 
papers of the kind. 

At first, the introduction of ultramarine led 
to some difficulty in sizing the paper, for so 
long as smalts continued to be used, any 
amount of alum might be employed, and it 
was actually added to the size to preserve it 
from putrefaction. But since artificial ultra- 
marine is bleached by alum, it became of 
course necessary to add this salt to the size 
in very small proportions, and as a natural 
consequence the gelatine was no longer pro- 
tected from the action of the air, which led 
to incipient decomposition, and in such cases 
the putrefaction, once commenced, proceeded 
even after the size was dried on the paper, 
and gave to it a most offensive smell, which 
rendered the paper unsaleable. This difficulty, 
however, has now been overcome, and pro- 


viding the size be quite free from taint when 
applied to the paper, and quickly dried, putre- 
faction will not subsequently occur ; but if 
decay has once commenced, it cannot be 
arrested by drying only. 

The operation of paper making, after the 
rags or materials to be used have been thus 
reduced and prepared, may be divided into 
two kinds : that which is carried on in hand 
mills, where the formation of the sheet is 
performed by manual labour ; and that which 
is carried on in machine mills, where the 
paper is produced upon the machine wire- 
cloth in one continuous web. 

With respect to hand-made papers, the 
sheet is formed by the vatman's dipping a 
mould of fine wire cloth, fixed upon a wooden 
frame, and having what is termed a deckle, 
to determine the size of the sheet, into a 
quantity of pulp which has been previously 
mixed with water to a requisite consistency ; 
when, after gently shaking it to and fro in a 
horizontal position, the fibres become so 
connected as to form one uniform fabric, 
while the water drains away. The deckle 



is then removed from the mould, and the 
sheet of paper turned off upon a felt, in a pile 
with many others, a felt intervening between 
each sheet, and the whole subjected to great 
pressure, in order to displace the superfluous 
water ; when, after being dried and pressed 
without the felts, the sheets are dipped into 
a tub of fine animal size, the superfluity of 
which is again forced out by another pressing ; 
each sheet, after being finally dried, under- 
going careful examination before it is finished. 

Thus we have, first, what is termed the 
water-leaf y the condition in which the paper 
appears after being pressed between the felts — 
this is the first stage. Next, a sheet from the 
bulk, as pressed without the felts, which still 
remains in a state unfit for writing on, not 
having been sized. Then a sheet after sizing, 
which completely changes its character ; and, 
lastly, one with the finished surface. This 
is produced by placing the sheets separately 
between very smooth copper plates, and then 
passing them through rollers, which impart a 
pressure of from twenty to thirty tons. After 
only three or four such pressures, it is simply 

a 2 


called rolled, but if passed through more fre- 
quently, the paper acquires a higher surface, 
and is then called glazed. 

The paper-making machine is constructed 
to imitate in a great measure, and in some 
respects to improve, the processes used in 
making paper by hand ; but its chief ad- 
vantages are the increased rapidity with which 
it accomplishes the manufacture, and the 
means of producing paper of any size which 
can practically be required. 

By the agency of this admirable contrivance, 
which is so adjusted as to produce the intended 
effect with unerring precision, a process which 
in the old system of paper making occupied 
about three weeks, is now performed in as 
many minutes. 

The paper-making machine is supplied from 
the " chest'' or reservoir F, into which the 
pulp descends from the beating engine, when 
sufficiently ground ; being kept in constant 
motion, as it descends, by means of the agitator 
G, in order that it shall not settle. From this 
reservoir the pulp is again conveyed by a pipe 
into what is technically termed the " lifter" H, 



which consists of a cast-iron wheel, enclosed 
in a wooden case, and having a number of 
buckets affixed to its circumference. The 
trough I, placed immediately beneath the 
endless wire K, is for the purpose of receiving 
the water which drains away from the pulp 
during the process of manufacture ; and as this 
water is frequently impregnated with certain 
chemicals used in connection with paper 
making, it is returned again by a conducting 
spout into the " lifter," where, by the rotation 
of the buckets, both the pulp and back-water 
become again thoroughly mixed, and are 
together raised by the lifter through the 
spout L, into the trough M, where the pulp 
is strained by means of a sieve or " knotter," 
as it is called, which is usually formed of 
brass, having fine slits cut in it to allow the 
comminuted pulp to pass through, while it 
retains all lumps and knots ; and so fine are 
these openings, in order to free the pulp 
entirely from anything which would be 
liable to damage the quality of the paper, 
that it becomes necessary to apply a means 
of exhaustion underneath, in order to faci- 


litate the passage of the pulp through the 

The lumps collected upon the top of this 
knotter, more particularly when printing 
papers are being manufactured, are composed 
to a considerable extent of india-rubber, which 
is a source of much greater annoyance to the 
paper maker than is readily conceived. For, 
in the first place, it is next to impossible in 
sorting and cutting the rags to free them 
entirely from the braiding, and so forth, with 
which ladies adorn their dresses ; and in the 
next, the bleach failing to act upon a substance 
of that character, the quality of the paper 
becomes greatly deteriorated by the large black 
specks which it occasions, and which enlarge 
considerably under the combined heat and 
pressure of the rolls and cylinders. 

Passing from the strainer, the pulp is next 
made to distribute itself equally throughout 
the entire width of the machine, and is after- 
wards allowed to flow over a small lip or 
ledge, in a regular and even stream, whence 
it is received by the upper surface of the 
endless wire K, upon which the first process 


8 9 

of manufacture takes place. Of course, the 
thickness of the paper depends in some mea- 
sure upon the speed at which the machine is 
made to travel, but it is mainly determined by 
the quantity of pulp allowed to flow upon the 
wire, which by various contrivances can be 
regulated to great nicety. Paper may be 
made by this machine considerably less than 
the thousandth of an inch in thickness, and, 
although so thin, it is capable of being coloured, 
it is capable of being glazed, it is capable of 
receiving a water mark ; and, what is perhaps 
still more astonishing, a strip not exceeding 
four inches in width, is sometimes capable of 
sustaining a weight of 20 lbs., so great is its 

But to return to the machine itself. The 
quantity of pulp required to flow from the 
trough M being determined, it is first received by 
the continuous woven wire K, upon which it 
forms itself into paper ; this wire gauze, which 
resembles a jack-towel, passing over the small 
copper rollers N, round the larger one marked 
O, and being kept in proper tension by two 
others placed underneath. A gentle vibratory 


motion from side to side is given to the wire, 
which assists to spread the pulp evenly, and 
also to facilitate the separation of the water, 
and by this means, aided by a suction pump, 
the pulp solidifies as it advances. The two 
black squares on either side of the " dandy" 
roller P indicate the position of two wooden 
boxes, from which the air is partially exhausted, 
thus causing the atmospheric pressure to ope- 
rate in compacting the pulp into paper, the 
water and moisture being drawn through the 
wire, and the pulp retained on the surface. 

Next, we have to notice the deckle or 
boundary straps Q, which regulate the width 
of the paper, travelling at the same rate as the 
wire, and thus limiting the spread of the pulp. 
The " dandy" roller P is employed to give any 
impression to the paper that may be required. 
We may suppose, for instance, that the cir- 
cumference of that roller answers exactly to 
the length or breadth of the wire forming a 
hand mould, which, supposing such wire to 
be fixed or curved in that form, would neces- 
sarily leave the same impression as when 
employed in the ordinary way. Being placed 


between the air boxes, the paper becomes 
impressed by it when in a half-formed state, 
and whatever marks are thus made the paper 
will effectually retain. The two rollers 
following the dandy, marked R and O, are 
termed couching rollers, from their performing 
a similar operation in the manufacture of 
machine-made papers to the business of the 
coucher in conducting the process by hand. 
They are simply wooden rollers covered with 
felt. In some instances, however, the upper 
couch roll R is made to answer a double 
purpose. In making writing or other papers 
where smalts, ultramarine, and various colours 
are used, considerable difference will frequently 
be found in the tint of the paper when the 
two sides are compared, in consequence of 
the colouring matter sinking to the lower side, 
by the natural subsidence of the water, or 
from the action of the suction boxes ; and to 
obviate this, instead of employing the ordinary 
couch roll, which acts upon the upper surface 
of the paper, a hollow one is substituted, 
having a suction box within it, acted upon by 
an air pump, which tends in some measure to 


counteract the effect, justly considered ob- 
jectionable. Merging from those rollers, the 
paper is received from the wire gauze by a 
continuous felt 3, which conducts it through 
two pair of pressing rollers, and afterwards to 
the drying cylinders. After passing through 
the first pair of rollers, the paper is carried 
along the felt for some distance, and then 
turned over, in order to receive a corresponding 
pressure on the other side, thus obviating the 
inequality of surface which would otherwise 
be apparent, especially if the paper were to be 
employed for books. 

The advantage gained by the use of so great 
a length of felt is simply that it becomes less 
necessary to stop the machine for the purpose 
of washing it, than would be the case if the 
felt were limited in length to its absolute 

In some instances, when the paper being 
made is sized in the pulp with such an in- 
gredient as re sin 9 the felt becomes so com- 
pletely clogged in the space of a few hours, 
that unless a very great and apparently 
unnecessary length of felt be employed, 



a considerable waste of time is constantly 
incurred in washing or changing the felt. 

The operation of the manufacture will now 
be apparent. The pulp flowing from the 
reservoir into the lifter, and thence through 
the strainer, passes over a small lip to the 
continuous wire, being there partially com- 
pacted by the shaking motion, more thoroughly 
so on its passage over the air boxes, receiving 
any desired marks by means of the dandy 
roller passing over the continuous felt between 
the first pressing rollers, then turned over to 
receive a corresponding pressure on the other 
side, and from thence off to the drying 
cylinders, which are heated more or less by 
injected steam ; the cylinder which receives 
the paper first being heated less than the 
second, the second than the third, and so on ; 
the paper, after passing over those cylinders, 
being finally wound upon a reel, as shown, 
unless it be printing paper, which can be 
sized sufficiently in the pulp, by an admixture 
of alum, soda, and resin, or the like ; in which 
case it may be at once conducted to the 
cutting machine, to be divided into any length 


and width required. But, supposing it to be 
intended for writing purposes, it has first to 
undergo a more effectual method of sizing, 
as shown in the accompanying drawing ; the 
size in this instance being made from parings 
obtained from tanners, curriers, and parchment 
makers, as employed in the case of hand-made 
papers. Of course, sizing in the pulp or in 
the engine offers many advantages, but as 
gelatine, or animal size, which is really essential 
for all good writing qualities, cannot at present 
be employed during the process of manu- 
facturing by the machine without injury to 
the felts, it becomes necessary to pass the 
web of paper, after it has been dried by the 
cylinders, through this apparatus. 

In most cases, however, the paper is at 
once guided, as it issues from the machine, 
through the tub of size, and is thence carried 
over the skeleton drums shown, inside each 
of which are a number of fans rapidly re- 
volving ; sometimes there are forty or fifty of 
these drums in succession, the whole confined 
in a chamber heated by steam. A paper- making 
machine with the sizing apparatus attached 



sometimes measures, from the wire-cloth 
where the pulp first flows on, to the cutting 
machine at the extremity, no less than one 
thousand feet. The advantage of drying the 
paper in this manner over so many of these 

drums is, that it turns out much harder and 
stronger, than if dried more rapidly over 
heated cylinders. Some manufacturers adopt 
a peculiar process of sizing, which in fact 
answers very much better, and is alike appli- 
cable to papers made by hand or by machine, 
provided the latter description be first cut into 
pieces or sheets of the required dimensions. 
The contrivance consists of two revolving felts, 
between which the sheets are carried under 
several rollers through a long trough of size, 
being afterwards hung up to dry upon lines, 
previously to rolling or glazing. The paper 


thus sized becomes much harder and stronger, 
by reason of the freedom with which the 
sheets can contract in drying ; and this is 
mainly the reason why paper made by hand 
continues to be so much tougher than that 
made by the machine, in consequence of the 
natural tendency of the pulp to contract in 
drying, and consequently becoming, where 
no resistance is offered, more entwined or 
entangled, which of course adds very con- 
siderably to the strength and durability of the 
paper. In making by the machine, this 
tendency is completely checked. 

It may be interesting to mention, that the 
first experiment for drying paper by means of 
heated cylinders was made at Gellibrand's 
calico-printing factory, near Stepney ; a reel 
of paper, in a moist state, having been conveyed 
there from Dartford, in a post-chaise. The 
experiment was tried in the presence of the 
patentees of the paper machine and Mr. 
Donkin, the engineer, and proved highly 
satisfactory, and the adoption of copper cylin- 
ders, heated by steam, was thenceforth con- 
sidered indispensable. 



The next operation to be noticed, now that 
the paper is finished, is that of cutting it into 
standard sizes. Originally, the reel upon 
which it was finally wound was formed so 
that its diameter might be lessened or increased 
at pleasure, according to the sizes which were 
required. Thus, for instance, supposing the 
web of paper was required to be cut into 
sheets of eighteen inches in length, the dia- 
meter of the reel would be lessened to six 
inches, and thus the circumference to eighteen 
inches ; or, if convenient, it would be increased 
to thirty-six inches, the paper being afterwards 
cut in two by hand with a large knife, the 
width of the web being regulated by the 
deckle straps, Q, to either twice or three 
times the width of the sheet, as the case 
might be. However, in regard to the length, 
considerable waste, of necessity, arose, from 
the great increase in the circumference of the 
reel as the paper was wound upon it ; and to 
remedy this, several contrivances have been 
invented. To dwell upon their various pecu- 
liarities, or separate stages of improvement, 
would prove of little comparative interest to 



the general reader ; it will, therefore, be well 
to limit attention to the cutting machine, of 
which an illustration is given, which is un- 
questionably the best, as well as the most 
ingenious invention of the kind. 

The first movement or operation peculiar 
to this machine is that of cutting the web 
of paper longitudinally, into such widths as 
may be required ; and this is effected by 
means of circular blades, placed at stated 

distances, which receive the paper as it issues 
direct: from the other machinery, and by a 
very swift motion, much greater than that 
at which the paper travels, slit it up with 



unerring precision wherever they may be 

A pair of those circular blades is shown in 
the drawing, A, the upper one being much 
larger than the lower, which is essential to 
the smoothness of the cut. And not only is 
the upper blade larger in circumference, but 
it is also made to revolve with much greater 
rapidity, by means of employing a small 
pinion, worked by one at least twice its 
diameter, which is fixed upon the same shaft 
as the lower blade, to which the motive power 
is applied. The action aimed at is precisely 
such as we obtain from a pair of scissors. 

The web, as it is termed by the paper 
maker, being thus severed longitudinally, the 
next operation is that of cutting it off into 
sheets of some particular length horizontally ; 
and to do this requires a most ingenious 
movement. To give a very general idea of 
the contrivance, the dotted line represents the 
paper travelling on with a rapidity in some 
cases of eighty feet per minute, and yet its 
course has to be temporarily arrested while 
the required separation is effected ; and that, 

h 2 


too, without the paper's accumulating in am 
mass, or getting creased in the slightest degree. 

The large drum B, over which the paper 
passes, in the direction indicated by the arrows, 
has simply an alternating motion, which serves 
to gather the paper in such lengths as may 
be required ; the crank arm C, which is capable 
of any adjustment either at top or bottom, 
regulating the extent of the movement back- 
wards and forwards, and thus the length of 
the sheet. As soon as the paper to be cut 
off* has passed below the point D, (at which a 
presser is suspended, having an alternating 
motion given to it, in order to make it 
approach to, and recede from, a stationary 
presser-board,) it is taken hold of as it descends 
from the drum, and the length pendant from 
the presser is instantly cut off by the moveable 
knife E, to which motion is given by the 
crank F, the connecting rod G, the lever H, 
and the connecting rod I. The combined 
motion of these rods and levers admits of the 
moveable knife E remaining nearly quiescent 
for a given time, and then speedily closing 
upon the fixed knife K, cutting off* the paper 


in a similar manner to a pair of shears, when 
it immediately slides down a board, or in some 
instances is carried along a revolving felt, at 
the extremity of which several men or boys 
are placed to receive the sheets, according to 
the number into which the width of the web 
is divided. 

As soon as the pressers are closed for a 
length of paper to be cut off, the motion of 
the gathering drum is reversed, smoothing 
out the paper upon its surface, which is now 
held between the pressers ; the tension roll L 
taking up the slack in the paper as it accu- 
mulates, or rather bearing it gently down, 
until the movement of the drum is again 
reversed to furnish another length. The 
handle M is employed merely to stop a portion 
of the machinery, should the water mark not 
fall exactly in the centre of the sheet, when 
by this means it can be momentarily adjusted. 

The paper being thus made, and cut up 
into sheets of stated dimensions, is next looked 
over and counted out into quires of twenty- 
four sheets, and afterwards into reams of 
twenty quires, which subsequently are carefully 


weighed, previously to their being sent into 
the market. 

Another method of making paper, which 
should be noticed, was invented by Mr. 
Dickinson, and consists in causing a polished 
hollow brass cylinder, perforated with holes or 
slits, and covered with wire cloth, to revolve 
over and in contact with the prepared pulp. 
The cylinder being connected with a vessel 
from which the air has been exhausted, the film 
of pulp adheres to the hollow cylinder. It is 
then turned off continuously upon a solid one 
covered with felt, upon which it is condensed 
by the pressure of a third revolving cylinder, 
and is thence delivered to the drying rollers. 
This description of machine is more especially 
suitable for the manufacture of thin tissue papers. 

Connected with the manufacture of paper, 
there is one point of considerable interest and 
importance, and that is, what is commonly, 
but erroneously, termed the water mark, 
which may be noticed in the Times news- 
paper, in the Bank of England Notes, Cheques, 
and Bills, as also in every Postage and Receipt 
Label of the present day. 


The curious, and in some instances absurd 
terms, which now puzzle us so much in 
describing the different sorts and sizes of paper, 
may frequently be explained by reference to 
the various paper marks which have been 
adopted at different periods. In ancient times, 
when comparatively few people could read, 
pictures of every kind were much in use where 
writing would now be employed. Every 
shop, for instance, had its sign, as well as 
every public-house ; and those signs were not 
then, as they often are now, only painted upon 
a board, but were invariably adtual models of 
the thing which the sign expressed — as we 
still occasionally see some such sign as a bee- 
hive, a tea-canister, or a doll, and the like. 
For the same reason printers employed some 
device, which they put upon the title pages 
and at the end of their books, and paper 
makers also introduced marks, by way of 
distinguishing the paper of their manufacture 
from that of others ; which marks becoming 
common, naturally gave their names to different 
sorts of paper. And since names often remain 
long after the origin of them is forgotten and 


circumstances are changed, it is not surprising 
to find the old names still in use, though in 
some cases they are not applied to the same 
things which they originally denoted. One 
of the illustrations of ancient water-marks 
given in the accompanying plate, that of an 
open hand with a star at the top, which was 
in use as early as 1530, probably gave the 
name to what is still called hand paper, Jig. 

Another very favourite paper-mark, at a 
subsequent period, 1540-60, was the jug or 
pot, which is also shown,^. 1 447, and would 
appear to have originated the term pot paper. 
The fool's cap was a later device, and does not 
appear to have been nearly of such long con- 
tinuance as the former, Jig. 1448. It has 
given place to the figure of Britannia, or that 
of a lion rampant, supporting the cap of 
liberty on a pole. The name, however, has 
continued, and we still denominate paper of a 
particular size by the title of foolscap. The 
original figure has the cap and bells, of which 
we so often read in old plays and histories, as 
the particular head-dress of the fool, who at 


one time formed part of every great man's 

The water mark of a cap may sometimes 
be met with of a much simpler form than 
just mentioned, frequently resembling the 
jockey caps of the present day, with a trifling 
ornamentation or addition to the upper part. 
The first edition of " Shakspeare," printed by 
Isaac y^ggard and Ed. Blount, 1623, will be 

1418 1446 1419 


found to contain this mark, interspersed with 
several others of a different character. No 
doubt, the general use of the term cap to 
various papers of the present day owes its 
origin to marks of this description. 

The term imperial was in all probability 
derived from the finest specimens of papyri, 
which were so called by the ancients. 

Post paper seems to have derived its name 
from the post-horn, which at one time was 
its distinguishing mark, Jig. 1449. It does 
not appear to have been used prior to the 
establishment of the general post-office ( 1 670), 
when it became the custom to blow a horn, 
to which circumstance, no doubt, we may 
attribute its introduction. The mark is still 
frequently used, but the same change which 
has so much diminished the number of painted 
signs in the streets of our towns and cities, 
has nearly made paper marks a matter of 
antiquarian curiosity ; the maker's name being 
now generally used, and the mark, in the few 
instances where it still remains, serving the 
purpose of mere ornament, rather than that 
of distinction. 


Water marks, however, have at various 
periods been the means of detecting frauds, 
forgeries, and impositions, in our courts of law 
and elsewhere, to say nothing of the pro- 
tection they afford in the instances already 
referred to, such as bank notes, cheques, 
receipt, bill, and postage stamps. The cele- 
brated Curran once distinguished himself in 
a case which he had undertaken by shrewdly 
referring to the water mark, which effectually 
determined the verdict. And another instance, 
which may be introduced in the form of an 
amusing anecdote, occurred once at Messina, 
where the monks of a certain monastery ex- 
hibited, with great triumph, a letter as being 
written by the Virgin Mary with her own 
hand. Unluckily for them, however, this 
was not, as it easily might have been, written 
upon the ancient papyrus, but on paper made 
of rags. On one occasion a visitor, to whom 
this was shown, observed, with affected so- 
lemnity, that the letter involved also a miracle, 
for the paper on which it was written was 
not in existence until several centuries after 
the mother of our Lord had died. 


A further illustration of the kind occurs 
in a work entitled " Ireland's Confessions" 
respecting his fabrication of the Shakspeare 
manuscripts, — a literary forgery, even still more 
remarkable than that which is said to have 
been perpetrated by Chatterton, as " Rowley's 

The interest which at the time was uni- 
versally felt in this production of Ireland's 
may be partially gathered from the fact, that 
the whole of the original edition, which ap- 
peared in the form of a shilling pamphlet, was 
disposed of in a few hours ; while so great 
was the eagerness to obtain copies afterwards, 
that single impressions were sold in an auction 
room at the extravagant price of a guinea. 

This gentleman tells us, at one part of his 
explanation, that the sheet of paper which he 
used was the outside of several others, on some 
of which accounts had been kept in the reign 
of Charles the First ; and being at that time 
wholly unacquainted with the water marks 
used in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, " I 
carefully selected (says he) two half sheets, 
not having any mark whatever, on which I 


penned my first effusion." A few pages 
further on he writes — " Being thus urged 
forward to the production of more manu- 
scripts, it became necessary that I should 
possess a sufficient quantity of old paper to 
enable me to proceed; in consequence of 
which I applied to a bookseller named Verey, 
in Great May's Buildings, St. Martin's Lane, 
who, for the sum of five shillings, suffered me 
to take from all the folio and quarto volumes 
in his shop the fly leaves which they con- 
tained. By this means I was amply stored 
with that commodity — nor did I fear any 
mention of the circumstance by Mr. Verey, 
whose quiet, unsuspecting disposition, I was 
well convinced, would never lead him to make 
the transaction public ; in addition to which, 
he was not likely even to know anything 
concerning the supposed Shaksperian discovery 
by myself, and even if he had, I do not imagine 
that my purchase of the old paper in question 
would have excited in him the smallest degree 
of suspicion. As I was fully aware, from the 
variety of water marks which are in existence 
at the present day, that they must have con- 


stantly been altered since the period of Eliza- 
beth, and being for some time wholly unac- 
quainted with the water marks of that age, 
I very carefully produced my first specimens 
of the writing on such sheets of old paper as 
had no mark whatever. Having heard it 
frequently stated that the appearance of such 
marks on the papers would have greatly 
tended to establish their validity, I listened 
attentively to every remark which was made 
upon the subject, and from thence I at length 
gleaned the intelligence that a jug was the 
prevalent water mark of the reign of Elizabeth ; 
in consequence of which I inspected all the 
sheets of old paper then in my possession, and 
having selected such as had the jug upon 
them, I produced the succeeding manuscripts 
upon these, being careful, however, to mingle 
with them a certain number of blank leaves, 
that the -production on a sudden of so many 
water marks might not excite suspicion in 
the breasts of those persons who were most 
conversant with the manuscripts." 

Thus this notorious literary forgery, through 
the cunning ingenuity of the perpetrator, 


I I i 

ultimately proved so successful as to deceive 
many learned and able critics of the age. 
Indeed, on one occasion, a kind of certificate 
was drawn up, stating that the undersigned 
names were affixed by gentlemen who enter- 
tained no doubt whatever as to the validity 
of the Shaksperian production, and that they 
voluntarily gave such public testimony of 
their convictions upon the subject. To this 
document several names were appended by 
persons as conspicuous for their erudition as 
they were pertinacious in their opinions. 

The water mark in the form of a letter p y 
of which an illustration is given, Jig. 1450, 
was taken from Caxton's well-known work, 
" The Game of the Chess," a fac simile of 
which has recently been published as a tribute 
to his memory. Paper was made expressly 
for the purpose, in exact representation of the 
original, and containing this water mark, 
which will be found common in works printed 
by him. 

The ordinary mode of effecting such paper 
marks as we have been describing, is that of 
affixing a stout wire in the form of any object 


to be represented to the surface of the fine 
wire-gauze, of which the hand -mould or 
machine dandy roller is constructed. 

The perfection, however, to which water 
marks have now attained, which in many 
instances is really very beautiful, is owing to 
a more ingenious method, recently patented, 
and since adopted by the Bank of England, 
as affording considerable protection to the 
public in determining the genuineness of a 
bank note. 

To produce a line water-mark of any auto- 
graph or crest, we might either engrave the 
pattern or device first in some yielding surface, 
precisely as we should engrave a copper-plate 
for printing, and afterwards, by immersing 
the plate in a solution of sulphate of copper, 
and electrotyping it in the usual way, allow 
the interstices of the engraving to give as it 
were a casting of pure copper, and thus an 
exact representation of the original device, 
which, upon being removed from the plate, 
and affixed to the surface of the wire-gauze 
forming the mould, would produce a cor- 
responding impression in the paper ; or, 


supposing perfect identity to be essential, as in 
the case of a bank note, we might engrave 
the design upon the surface of a steel die, 
taking care to cut those parts in the die 
deepest which are intended to give greater 
effect in the paper, and then, after having 
hardened, and otherwise properly prepared 
the die, it would be placed under a steam 
hammer, or other stamping apparatus, for the 
purpose of producing what is technically 
termed a " force," which is required to assist 
in transferring an impression from the die to 
a plate of sheet brass. This being done, the 
die, with the mould-plate in it, would next 
be taken to a perforating or cutting machine, 
where the back of the mould plate — that is, 
the portion which projects above the face of 
the die — would be removed, while that portion 
which was impressed into the design engraven 
would remain untouched ; and this being sub- 
sequently taken from the interstices of the die 
and placed in a frame upon a backing of fine 
wire-cloth, becomes a mould for the manu- 
facture of paper of the pattern which is desired, 
or for the production of any water mark, 



autograph, crest, or device, however com- 

Light and shade are occasioned by a very 
similar process, but one which perhaps requires 
a little more care, and necessarily becomes 
somewhat more tedious. For instance, in the 
former case the pulp is distributed equally 
throughout the entire surface of the wire 
forming the mould, whereas now we have to 
contrive the means of increasing to a very 
great nicety the thickness or distribution of 
the pulp, and at the same time to make pro- 
vision for the water's draining away. This 
has been accomplished by first taking an 
electrotype of the raised surface of any model 
or design ; and again, from that, forming in a 
similar manner a matrix or mould, both of 
which are subsequently mounted upon lead 
or gutta percha, in order that they may with- 
stand the pressure which is required to be put 
upon them in giving impression to a sheet of 
very fine copper wire-gauze, which, in the 
form of a mould, and in the hands of the 
vatman, suffices ultimately to produce those 
beautiful, transparent effects in paper pulp. 


ir 5 

The word " Five," in the centre of the Bank 
of England note, is produced in the same 
manner. The deepest shadows in the water 
mark being occasioned by the deepest en- 
graving upon the die, the lightest by the 
shallowest, and so forth ; the die being em- 
ployed to give impression by means of the 
stamping press and " force" to the fine wire- 
gauze itself, which by this means, providing 
the die be properly cut, is accomplished far 
more successfully than by any other process, 
and with the additional advantage of securing 
perfect identity. 

It may be interesting to call attention to 
the contrast as regards the method of mould 
making originally practised, and that which 
has recently been adopted by the Bank of 
England. In a pair of five-pound note 
moulds, prepared by the old process, there 
were eight curved borders, sixteen figures, 
1 68 large waves, and 240 letters, which had 
all to be separately secured by the finest wire 
to the waved surface. There were 1,056 
wires, 67,584 twists, and the same repetition 
where the stout wires were introduced to 

1 2 


support the under surface. Therefore, with 
the backing, laying, large waves, figures, 
letters, and borders, before a pair of moulds 
was completed, there were some hundreds of 
thousands of stitches, most of which are now 
avoided by the new patent. But further, by 
this multitudinous stitching and sewing, the 
parts were never placed precisely in the same 
position, and the water mark was consequently 
never identical. Now, the same die gives 
impression to the metal which transfers it to 
the water mark, with a certainty of identity 
unattainable before, and one could almost say 
never to be surpassed. 

And may we not detect principles in this 
process which are not only valuable to the 
Bank, but to all public establishments having 
important documents on paper, for what can 
exceed the value of such a test for discovering 
the deceptions of dishonest men ? One's 
signature, crest, or device of any kind, ren- 
dering the paper exclusively one's own, can 
now be secured in a pair of moulds, at the 
cost merely of a few guineas. 

The facility with which ordinary written 


characters can be expunged from paper by 
chemical bleaching liquids, acids, and alkalies, 
has led to the adoption, by bankers, for their 
cheques and drafts, of papers which present 
obstacles to the fraudulent alteration of the 
amount and intent of these documents. 

Instances of this description of forgery have 
occasionally occurred. In the spring of 1859, 
a cheque was paid at a branch of the Bank 
of England, in which both the amount had 
been altered and the crossing extracted by 
chemical means. 

In 1 822, William Robson patented a method 
of securing bankers' cheques by printing upon 
their surface vegetable colours equally fugitive 
with common writing ink. 

This method, and its extension to the 
tinting of writing papers in the pulp, has 
been generally adopted by bankers. Those 
papers which exhibit the perfection of Robson's 
principle are limited in practice almost ex- 
clusively to certain tints obtained from log- 

Mr. Baildon's paper is a tinted one, from 
which the colour is removed. The patentee 


states that he offers absolute integrity and 
security from alteration for any document 
once issued ; and this is obtained by a fluid 
or ink, which, when used, becomes, in fact, 
a permanent dye, different from any inks yet 
introduced for this purpose, which are pigments. 
The least attempt to tamper with the ink or 
paper is instantly detected by a dark stain in 
the paper, which can never be removed. 

As early as i 8 1 7, Gabriel Tigere patented a 
method of manufacturing " writing paper 
from which it would be extremely difficult, 
if not impossible, afterwards to extract or 
discharge any writing from such paper." 
This paper was impregnated during the sizing 
process with the ferrocyanide of potassium. 

Mr. William Stone's patent, 1851, was an 
effort to supply the deficiencies of this method. 
He added a solution of the iodide of potassium 
and starch to the ferro or ferridcyanide of 
potassium. This method has been fully 
carried out into practice, but it failed to give 
the complete security desired. The chemical 
defects of Tigere's method may be stated 
thus : — Although admirable in the protection 


it affords against the application of acids, it is 
powerless to resist the bleaching powers of 
such substances as common chloride of lime 
(bleaching powder) in solution, and the ink 
may also be removed by the application of 
either of the caustic alkalies. In Stone's 
method, although by the application of 
bleaching agents containing chlorine the 
paper is stained by the blue compound termed 
the iodide of starch, this is removed again by 
the application of an alkali. 

Manufactured paper, independently of the 
miscellaneous kinds, such as blotting, filtering, 
and the like, which are rendered absorbent 
by the free use of woollen rags, may be divided 
into three distinct classes, viz., writing, 
printing, and wrapping. The former again 
into five — cream wove, yellow wove, blue 
wove, cream laid, and blue laid. The printing 
into two — laid and wove ; and the latter into 
Jour — blue, purple, brown, and whited brown, 
as it is commonly termed 

To obtain a simple definition of the mode 
adopted for distinguishing the various kinds, 
we must include, with the class denominated 



writing papers, those which are used for 
drawing, which being sized in like manner, 
and with the exception of one or two larger 
kinds, of precisely the same dimensions as 
those passing by the same name, which are 
used strictly for writing purposes (the only 
distinction, in fact, being, that the drawings 
are cream wove, while the writings are laid), 
there would of course be no necessity for 
separating them. Indeed, since many of the 
sizes used for printing are exactly the same 
as those which would be named as writing 
papers, for the sake of abridgment we will 
reduce the distinctions of difference to but 
two heads, fine and coarse ; under the latter 
including the ordinary brown, papers, the 
whited brown, or small hand quality, and the 
blues and purples used by grocers. The 
smallest size of the fine quality, as sent from 
the mill, measures 1 z\ by 15 inches, and is 
termed pot; next to that foolscap, \b\ by 
1 3 i ; then post, 1 8 J by 15J; copy, 20 by 
16J; large post, 2o| by 16J ; medium post, 
22 J by 18 ; sheet-and-third foolscap, 22^ by 
13^ ; sheet-and-half foolscap, 24 J by 13J; 


double foolscap, 27 by 17; double pot, 25 
by 1 5 ; double post, 30 i by 19; double crown, 
30 by 20; demy, 20 by 15^; ditto printing, 
22^ by 17J; medium, 22 by 17J; ditto 
printing, 23 by 18J; royal, 24 by 19; ditto 
printing, 25 by 20; super-royal, 27 by 19; 
ditto printing, 27 by 21 ; imperial, 30 by 22 ; 
elephant, 28 by 23 ; atlas, 34 by 26; colum- 
bier, 34^ by 23^ ; double elephant, 40 by 
26 1 ; and antiquarian, 53 by 31. The different 
sizes of letter and note paper ordinarily used 
are prepared from those kinds by the stationer, 
whose business consists chiefly in smoothing 
the edges of the paper, and afterwards packing 
it up in some tasteful form, which serves to 
attract attention. 

Under the characteristic names of coarse 
papers may be mentioned Kent cap, 21 by 1 8 ; 
bag cap, 24 by 1 9 J ; Havon cap, 26 by 21 ; 
imperial cap, 29 by 22^; double 2 -lb., 24 by 
1 7 ; double 4-lb., 31 by 21; double 6-lb., 
28 by 19; casing of various dimensions, also 
cartridges, with other descriptive names, 
besides middle hand, 21 by 16; lumber hand, 
22j by 19J; royal hand, 25 by 20; double 


small hand, 29 by 19; and of the purples, 
such significations as copy loaf, 21 J by 16^, 
38-lb. ; powder loaf, 26 by 18, 5 8-lb. ; double 
loaf, 23 by \6\, 48-lb. ; single loaf, 27 by 
21^,78-lb.; lump, 3 3 by 23, 100-lb.; Hambro', 
23 by 1 6 J, 48-lb.; titler, 35 by 29, 120-lb. ; 
Prussian or double lump, 42 by 32, 200-lb ; 
and so forth, with glazed boards of various 
sizes, used chiefly by printers for pressing. 
These are manufactured in a peculiar manner 
by hand, the boards being severally composed 
of various sheets made in the ordinary way, 
but turned off the mould one sheet upon 
another, until the required substance be 
attained ; a felt is then placed upon the mass 
and another board formed. By this means, 
the sheets, when pressed, adhere more effec- 
tually to each other, and the boards conse- 
quently become much more durable than 
would be the case if they were produced by 
pasting. Indeed, if any great amount of heat 
be applied to pasteboards, they will split, and 
be rendered utterly useless. The glazing in 
this case is accomplished by friction. 

To complete the category of ccarse papers, 


must be mentioned milled boards, employed 
in book-binding, of not less than 150 de- 
scriptions, as regards sizes and substances. 
Still, however, an incomplete idea is conveyed 
of the extraordinary number of sizes and 
descriptions into which paper is at present 
divided. For instance, we have said with 
reference to writing qualities, that there are 
Jive kinds — cream wove, yellow wove, blue 
wove, cream laid, and blue laid ; and again, 
that of each of those kinds there are numerous 
sizes : but in addition there are, as a matter 
of course, various thicknesses and makes of 
each size and kind. In fad:, no house in 
London, carrying on the wholesale stationery 
trade, is without a thousand different sorts ; 
many keep stock of twice that number. 

The quantity of paper manufactured in 
this country at the commencement of the 
eighteenth century appears to have been far 
from sufficient to meet the necessities of the 
time. Even in 1 721, it is supposed that there 
were but about 300,000 reams of paper 
annually produced in Great Britain, which 
were equal merely to two-thirds of the con- 


sumption. But in 1784, the value of the 
paper manufactured in England alone is stated 
to have amounted to £800,000 ; and that, 
by reason of the increase in price, as also of 
its use, in less than twenty years it nearly 
doubled that amount. 

With a view to greater exactness, it may 
be well to append some extracts from various 
Parliamentary returns, relating to the Excise 
duties levied upon paper, which, since an 
article of the kind is necessarily subjected to 
great alteration in value, according to the 
scarcity or abundance of raw materials, are, of 
course, better calculated to show a steady 
increase in the demand, than any mere 
references to statements of supposed value, 
from time to time. 

In one return, specifying the rates of duty 
and amount of duty received upon each 
denomination of paper since 1770, it appears 
that the total amount of duty on paper 
manufactured in England for the year 1784, to 
which I have just alluded as being estimated 
in value at £800,000, was £46,867 19s. 9^d., 
the duty at that time being divided into seven 


distinct classes or rates of collection; while 
twenty years after, when the mode of assessing 
the duty was reduced to but three classes, it 
had risen to £315,802 4s. 8d. ; in 1830, 
fifteen years after, to £619,824 7s. lid. ; 
in 1835, for the United Kingdom, to 
£833,822 i2Sc 4d., or, in weight, to 
70,655,287 lbs., which was, again, within 
so short a period as fifteen years, very nearly 
doubled. The quantity of paper charged 
with Excise duty in the United Kingdom, 
since 1 844, being — 


Charged with Duty. 

Exported on Draw- 
back, or 
Free of Duty. 

Returned for 
Home Consumption. 


















5, 8 53,979 







1 32,1 32,660 

5>9 66 >3i9 







i5 ,9°3,543 


I 4*,597,945 


i 54 ? 4 6 9» 211 


i47,i4o,3 2 5 







16,1 12,020 




1 1 , 1 18,551 









i75,69 ,557 










As the duty has ceased, we shall probably 
lose the means of determining in future the 
progress of this manufacture, but the foregoing 
table will ever be of interest as showing what 
has been done. 

The emancipation of the manufacturer 
from the troublesome meddling of the Excise- 
man, will afford scope for his energy, his 
genius, and his invention, hitherto unthought 
of. It may be that at first the introduction 
of foreign paper will subject him to a com- 
petition severe and embarrassing, but eventually 
British machinery, skill, and capital, will 
maintain their supremacy. Already, con- 
tinental papers are losing a hold obtained 
solely by lowness of price, their inferiority 
of material proving an obstacle to general 
adoption. Quality is a better test than cheap- 
ness ; and as the British paper maker warms 
to his work, it will be found that his care- 
fulness and uniformity of manufacture will 
secure him the preference. In some spe- 
cialities, perhaps, such as the thin tinted linear 
and other papers, which postal regulations 
have necessitated upon the Continent, it may 


not pay him to compete with his foreign 
brethren, but in the supply of the really 
substantial descriptions of writing and printing 
papers in hourly consumption, he need fear 
little from foreign rivalry. 

Considering the enormous extent of the 
paper manufacture, and the vast improve- 
ments which have taken place in connection 
therewith, it is not a little remarkable that, 
with the exception of the unfortunate Four- 
driniers, who sacrificed their all to present to 
mankind the bare principles of the art, as in 
the main they now exist, no other name 
should rest upon the page of history as being 
similarly associated with those many intro- 
ductions and improvements which have suc- 
cessively raised the paper manufacture to the 
apparently perfect standard which it has at 
length attained. It is true, there would be 
no difficulty in recording the names of very 
many who, by the employment of the wealth 
which they have inherited, are now altogether 
unsurpassed as paper manufacturers ; and it is 
equally true that, if we turn to the Reports of 
the Jurors of the Great Exhibition of 1851, 


we shall find many other names more or less 
distinguished by the greater or lesser im- 
portance of the materials or means for which 
they have themselves applied for and obtained 
the security of a patent. Still, we search in 
vain for any name upon record as indicating 
the true genius to whom is chiefly owing the 
surpassing beauty of the finest specimens of 
the paper fabric. 

Undoubtedly, the most enterprising and 
successful paper manufacturer of the present 
day is Mr. William Joynson, of St. Mary 
Cray, Kent, who by individual effort has 
succeeded in working his upward way, from 
the position of a journeyman in a humble 
paper mill, to the level of the most respected, 
and probably the most wealthy of paper 

But Mr. Joynson, distinguished as he greatly 
is for the superior finish of his writing papers, 
was not the originator of the process by which 
that finish was attained. At the cost of much 
time and some thousands of pounds, Mr. 
Joynson laboured to acquire a knowledge of 
the means by which that peculiar character 


and surface was so successfully accomplished 
which, it is said, was first given to writing 
papers at . the Hele paper mills, near Col- 
lumpton, Devon, by the late Mr. John 
Dewdney. Not only in this respect, but in 
many others, Mr. Dewdney rendered very 
distinguished service to the art of paper 
making — probably no man more so ; and yet, 
throughout his entire life as a paper manu- 
facturer, he never once patented a single in- 
vention,* or refused admitting to his mill any 
person who wished to go over it. Whether 
the same kind-hearted and generous spirit that 
appears uniformly to have prompted Mr. 
Dewdney in the conduct of his business 
would be consistent now-a-days, many may 
question, as indeed in practice most do ; but 
with Mr. Dewdney it certainly answered no 
bad end, for after acquiring a competency for 
himself and each member of a large family, 
he quietly retired from the paper manufacture ; 

* For various particulars relative to patents in con- 
nection with paper-making machinery, the reader is 
referred to the Report of the Jurors of the Great Exhi- 
bition of 185 1. 



and in the early part of the year 1852, imme- 
diately after the Commissioners of the Great 
Exhibition had awarded him a prize medal 
" for the excellence of his writing papers, and 
also for the permanent dye of his blue papers 
for the use of starch manufacturers," he dis- 
posed of his well-known mills and everything 
connected with them, to his old friend and 
competitor, Mr. Joynson, to whom to the 
last day of his life he continued warmly 
attached, and by whom he was ever con- 
sulted upon the various alterations and in- 
ventions which were adopted at St. Mary 

These observations, which are partly tech- 
nical, — because, without technicality, the view 
would be incomplete, — may give some idea 
of the skill required in the workman, and the 
expenditure demanded of the capitalist, to 
produce so simple a thing as a sheet of paper. 
The most exact care, the most ingenious in- 
vention, the nicest work of hand, and the most 
complicated machinery, are essential to that 
superiority which the British manufacture of 
paper has at length established. 


But the capabilities of paper are still more 
extensive. There are probably few branches 
of use, taste, or ornament, to which it may 
not be applicable. We have it already moulded 
into many forms of utility, and even of elegance, 
under the well-known name of papier mactie — 
a material which may yet be formed into 
works of art, painted and enamelled tables, 
antique candelabra, models of busts, statuettes, 
classic temples, and everything which can be 
shaped in a mould. 

An earlier and more important use of paper 
is in the decoration of dwellings. Formerly, 
the apartments of persons of opulence were 
hung with tapestry, generally brought from 
the Continental loom. But its cost, its loss 
of colour by time, and the rise of commercial 
and industrial opulence, displaced this elaborate 
and heavy decoration, and substituted "paper 
hangings." The first specimens of those 
exhibited nothing but the rudeness of an art 
in its infancy, and were almost wholly foreign ; 
but the capability of the invention was large, 
and it had the advantage of converting the 
humble covering of walls into copies of the 


pencil, on a new and extended scale. The 
Continental specimens of this manufacture 
already display representations of leading na- 
tional events, memorable battles, and even 
portraits of eminent men, forming, for even 
the humbler ranks, a kind of historic galleries. 

The English manufacturer excels in the 
proportions of his paper (English, twelve 
yards long, by twenty-one inches wide ; 
French, nine yards by eighteen inches.) But 
the art is still difficult and costly ; the blocks 
for a single pattern sometimes amounting to 
thousands. One of the principal French 
manufacturers is, at present, producing a 
design, requiring upwards of three thousand 
blocks, at a cost of £2,000 ; the design alone 
costing £1,200. 

But time and practice will lighten both the 
difficulty and the expense. The manufacture 
may yet spread through every mart in the 
world. In its more advanced stage, it may 
supply the place of Fresco, or rather be a 
multiplied Fresco. 

The cartoons of Raphael, the noblest work 
of design, are upon paper ; the finest Italian 


1 33 

pi&ures might be copied upon paper ; and 
the tardy and toilsome work of the engraver 
might be exchanged for the rapid, cheap, and 
popular design, no longer limited to the palace 
or the cloister, but sent in thousands of copies 
round the globe. Nor let this be called 
Utopian ; what can be Utopian in the country 
of the railroad, the steam-ship, and the electric 
telegraph ! 

The art wants only public encouragement. 
Let the encouragement be given, and the 
talent will be found. Let Government offer 
a premium of even a thousand pounds for the 
best specimen. Let the Society of Arts make 
it one of the objects of their patronage ; let it 
be once favoured, and it will soon advance to 

Nor let any one scoff at the interest which I 
venture to express in the ornament even of a 
cottage wall. Ornament is the crown of art. 
Taste is thought. Elegance is the refinement 
of civilization. The study of beauty, gran- 
deur, and truth, in History and in Nature, is 
the most practical education of man ! Who 
shall say that the sight of some heroic action — 


some noble figure of history — some sublime 
exercise of talent, magnanimity, or patriotism, 
pictured on a cottage wall, — may not be like 
a flash through the darkness of the peasant 
heart; may not suddenly awake the latent 
energy of the unconscious poet, the patriot, 
and the hero ; may not give to the world a 
Shakspeare, a Wallace, or a Wellington ! 


Second Edition, in octavo, with Plates and Specimens, price 7s. 6d. 









" The work combines the qualities which might 
be looked for from the union of liberal curiosity 
and practical knowledge. In all that regards the 
various processes by machinery, whether in pre- 
paring the rags or straw, or in finishing the con- 
verted 'pulp' into perfect paper, Mr. Herring 
is full and explicit. With the description of the 
actual processes of the manufacture are plea- 
santly mingled some collateral facts, often of the 
nature of anecdote."— Spectator. 

" This work contains not only the history of 
paper and paper making, but an account of all 
the known substances that have ever been used 
for the purposes for which we employ paper, 
from the papyrus of the Egyptians to the 
shoulder-bones of sheep used by the Arabians. 
It is carefully written, and is full* of information 
relative to a subject which, since the diminu- 
tion in the supply of rags, is rising into national 
importance." — Daily News. 

" The subject of paper making is an interest- 
ing one, and the author of the volume under 
notice has had the benefit of the experience of 
his father, extending over a period of nearly half 
a century, to enhance the interest and import- 
ance of what he has to say on the subject. The 
treatise is illustrated with various engravings, 
and an appendix of leaves forming numerous 
specimens of paper, fine and coarse, with orna- 
mental and other water-marks, &c. ; and the 
whole constitutes a very interesting volume, in 
which the history of the paper manufacture is 
traced from its more primitive antetypes, through 
its own earlier progress, onwards to its most 
recent improvements."— Builder. 

" There is poetry in everything— for to contem- 
plate anything in 'the light of truth, is to discern 
in it the beautiful handiwork of nature and of 
God, and to express in words the sentiments 
thus created, and as they have been felt, is, in 
its essential character, poetry. Charles 
Dickens, always truthful, correct, and lucid in 
his expression, is a true poet. Mr. Herring, 
our author, is the poet of paper, and he has pro- 
duced on the subject a most entertaining and 
exhaustive work. The whole subject is discussed 
in a temper of philosophical contemplation, and 


illustrated by a series of beautiful plates, which 
make plain the whole mystery of the manufac- 
ture."— Sentinel. 

" The work is founded on lectures delivered at 
the London Institution, in which Mr. Herring 
gave a learned and elaborate account of the his- 
tory of paper and of paper making. The book 
l- s divided into three chapters, the first treating 
historically of the early materials used for wri- 
ting purposes, and of modern paper, with the 
progress of the invention to its present superior 
condition. The second treats of the materials 
used in the manufacture of paper, the machinery 
of different kinds, the water marks, and other 
incidental points in the art of paper making. In 
the last, among miscellaneous topics, the paper 
duty and the excise regulations affecting the 
manufacture are discussed. The history and the 
principles are described in a concise and satis- 
factory manner, and illustrative specimens, 
made from a variety of materials and of different 
textures, are bound up with the volume." — Lite- 
rary Gazette. 

" At the present moment, when books, news- 
papers, and other periodicals are issued to the 
world in numbers almost beyond calculation, and 
when the want of linen fibre for the manufacture 
of paper to supply the daily increasing demand, 
has been exciting the deep interest both of the 
press and of the Government, a carefully com- 
piled and well-written book on Paper and Papeb 
Making, Ancihnt and Modern, cannot be other- 
wise than welcome. Such a one is the octavo 
volume just issued by Mr. Herring, which is 
based upon the lectures recently given by him 
upon the subject at the London Institution. 
Without being either tedious or technical, the 
author conducts his reader through the history 
of paper, the process of its manufacture, its 
varieties, its distinctive marks, and also inci- 
dentally to the question of the influence of the 
duty on the spread of knowledge; and as the 
volume is amply illustrated by plates of machi- 
nery, specimens of parer marks, and specimens 
of the various kinds of paper described, it sup- 
plies just that amount of knowledge, upon a very 
interesting and important topic, which every well- 
read person would desire to possess. "—Notes and 


This volume, on a subject of universal use and 
universal interest, is the work of a gentleman 
extensively connected with the commerce of 
paper, and perfectly acquainted with the details 
of its production. It is, we believe, the only one 
which enters alike into the history of the manu- 
iacture and commercial values of paper, and thus 
not merely supplies important information to the 
merchant, but offers a now field for the investi- 
gation of the philosopher. The volume proceeds 
in an interesting anecdotical manner, at the same 
time giving the technical details and description 
of the machinery, with elaborate accuracy. Speci- 
mens of the different kinds of paper, with the old 
and sometimes curious marks of the different 
tabries, are given; the whole forming a work 
which ought to be in the library of every public 
institution, and of every man" of letters and 
which ought espeiially to form the companion of 
every man connected with the commerce of this 
great and growing manufacture. It is only fair 
to the author of such a work to congratulate him 
on the research and the accuracy of his per- 
formance, and to express our wishes for the 
circulation and public accentance of a volume 
which does him honour."— Standard. 

"Mr. Herring's work on Paper and Paper 
Making is a very valuable addition to the History 
of Manufactures, as well as to that of Literature 
and Civilisation. The author is, we believe 
acquainted practically with the many improve- 
ments mid? lately in this important branch of 
manufactures. Much of what is found in these 
pages was contained in a course of lectures 
delivered in the London Institution. There is 
I fi , le .°r no dt T reading and mere technical 
talk m these pages; they are filled with matter 
winch is at orue entertaining and instructive 
and the style is that of a skilful literary artist- 
one who kno.v3 not onlv what to say, but how to 
say it. Illustrative erg.-avings, and soecimens 
of paper in var o is stages and forms of manu- 
facture, e lhance the value of the book It will 
amply repay a diligent perusal. If every author 
would select a subject which he knows as well 
and write about it as well as Mr. Herring this 
would be a brighter and a better world to critics 
and the bet er sort of readers. A good book on 
any subject-even upon blank paper-is pleasant 
and profitable reading. Apart from its literary 
merits, the book is a good specimen of typo- 
graphy and general getting up-free from all the 
superfluities of finery and splendjur of outward 
adornment."— Globe. 

" While the history of printing has been fre- 
quently and copiously dealt with, there has been 
a strange neglect with regard to the history of 
that material without which the art of printing 
would be comparatively useless. Yet it will be 
admitted, that the history of paper and paper 
making is a subject which may be made m<r» 
interesting to general readers ; for they can more 
thoroughly appreciate the progress and result of 
the various improvements and discoveries which 
have been made from time to time. This want 
Mr. Herring has very satisfactorily supplied in 
the work before us ; and though he goes back to 
very remote times, and into the technicalities of 
the subject, he does not dwell on those points 
more than is necessary to enable the reader to 
understand and feel an interest in the whole when 
he is perusing the more popular portions of the 
volume. The volume is illustrated not only by 

engravings, but by actual specimens of various 
kinds of paper bound up with it— a mode of 
Hlust-ation which we think might be generally 
adopted in popularly explaining various arts and 
manufactures. Mr. Hbrbing has introduced 
some interesting anecdotes, and Dr. Cbolt has 
added a characteristic introduction or preface, 
pointing out the important influence of printing 
and paper making upon the religious, social and 
political condition of the world." — BnqKah 

'' Thanks to the varied sources of information 
which Mr. Herring has had at his disposal, he 
has accumulated in these pages a mass of the 
most interesting facts, applicable to almost every 
detail in the manufacture and sale of the article, 
and succeeded in explaining more clearly than is 
generally possible by means of a book, the nature 
of the difficulties with which each successive 
invention had to deal . The purely historical part 
of the subject, and that especially which relates 
to the origin and use of materials for writing and 
engraving upon, employed by the ancients, is 
extremely copious, displaying abundant evidence 
of extensive research, and supplying one of the 
' most interesting chapters in the book, of early 
; human invention, which its entire annals can 
present us with. The account given of the 
i modern mode of converting pulp into paper by 
continuous rotatory motion, is extremely explicit 
and satisfactory, the manufacture being exhibited 
by beautifully engraved drawings of the machi- 
nery, and the value of the book is greatly en- 
hanced by the addition of a number of leaves, 
exhibiting the progress of the manufacture at its 
several stages, and some remarkable examples of 
water-marking in light and shade. Altogether 
the book is one of great value, as regards the 
history of the practical details of the art, and of 
equal interest in an antiquarian and bibliological 
point of view, "^-Morning Advertiser. 

" A useful volume. Mr. Herring ' begins with 
the beginning,' and has a short essay on the 
origin of language ; from this he traces the 
history, if we may so speak, of the various in- 
ventions resorted to by men whereby to stamp an 
imperishable record of their thoughts, their hopes, 
their aspirations, and their deeds. This history 
is interesting ; and we may remark, that in old 
days, as now, the paper makers seem to have 
created colossal fortunes, while they who crossed 
the fabric with the stylus, achieved no fortune 
but one of fame. Thus, we are told of a certain 
Firmus, a paper maker, that he raised the stan- 
dard of revolt in Egypt against the fifniperor 
Aurehan, and boasted that he could maintain an 
army solely from the profits of his paper trade ! 
What a radical newspaper this Firmus would 
have set up against the powers that then were, 
if he had only known to what purpose paper 
might be turned! Mr. Herring is amusing 
when describing the names of the different sorts' 
of paper. Three are derived from the marks 
applied by paper makers to distinguish their 
respective productions. The water mark of ' an 
open hand, with a star,' in use as early as 1530, 
probably gave the name to ' hand' paper; ' pot' 
paper was distinguished by a jug ; and ' fools- 
cap,' which now bears Britannia, or a lion ram- 
pant supporting the cap of liberty 0:1 a pole,' is 
no satirical allusion to such cap,' but was origi- 
nally given because of the former device of the 
' cap and bells.' "—Athenmim.